During Activision’s earnings call last night the publisher stunned investors with news that they will continue the yearly tradition (which started with the release of Call of Duty 2 in November 2005) and launch a new Call of Duty title in 2013 — we are guessing in November.
The company’s CFO Dennis Durkin proclaimed the shocking news during the call, saying “The Call of Duty franchise continues to set the bar for innovation, and we expect the new Call of Duty game in development for 2013 to raise that bar even higher.”
Interestingly, the company’s big boss, Bobby Kotick, warned that they are expecting sales of the 2013 Call of Duty to fall short of last year’s Black Ops II, due the “challenged global economy” and “the ongoing console transition”.
Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg echoed a similar message, saying “For Call of Duty, consistent with our past practices, we are planning for the mainline release in Q4 (October 1, 2013 through December 31, 2013) to be down versus 2012,”.
As usual, the publisher did not reveal if the next title would follow the Modern Warfare series or move onto something else. Perhaps, it will be one of those Future Warfare or Space Warfare domains that they registered back in 2010 and then never did anything with…
Activision also did not reveal the platforms that they are targeting for the 2013 CoD, which is shame because that very issue is sure to be one of the most interesting topics about the upcoming game. Will they continue to use the Xbox 360 as the game’s lead platform (which would focus their development efforts where the bulk of their fans are), or fully move the game onto the next generation Xbox and PlayStation and hope those fans follow along? Additionally, the game could be split between the two console generations, but that would likely result in slowing the adoption rates of the new hardware.
We will have to wait and see how things shake out over the next few months, but there is little doubt that this next Call of Duty could be one of the deciding factors in how the next generation console war shakes out.