Activision revealed very little of their plans for the coming year in their recent financial report, but there were a few hints for what players can expect. In the publisher’s earnings call, CFO Dennis Durkin revealed they have plans for more remastered content. Meanwhile CEO Bobby Kotick explained that Call of Duty had been so successful they were going to be applying its model—free content updates supported by Battle Passes and premium packs, as well as interlinked games—to many of their future titles.
Durkin stated they “have a few other things up our sleeve in terms of remastered content that [we] will unveil in due course, which should provide further opportunities for us this year.” No further hints were given, but the most popular theories amongst gamers right now is the much-rumored Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Remastered. Apparently the game was actually finished in 2018 but was delayed because of a shooting in Dallas. Unsurprisingly, a new premium Call of Duty title will be released this year. If Infinity Ward is developing it, the release of MW3 Remastered would make sense. Many people also want to see the company do more with the Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater franchise.
Call of Duty had its most successful year in 2020 and Activision has learned lessons from this. The publisher plans to reach 1 billion unique players this year by applying the Call of Duty framework to many of their other wholly owned franchises. This roadmap includes premium and free-to-play content, mobile expansions, and a “regular delivery of in-game content.” For example, Crash Bandicoot will get a new free-to-play mobile title next month in the form of endless runner Crash Bandicoot: On the Run, while mobile game Diablo Immortal is expected to be fully released after successful regional testing. According to Kotick, one of their aims is to “enhance the social nature of all of our key franchises.”
Three of Activision’s franchises managed to raise $1 billion in net bookings last year: Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, and Candy Crush. While these franchises are expected to continue to grow throughout 2021 in terms of both number of players and monetization, the publisher also expects two more franchises to reach “a similar scale” over the next couple of years. Overwatch 2 and Diablo 4 won’t be releasing until at least 2022, but the two franchises could still fit into this timeframe, especially as both are already implementing a fairly similar model to Call of Duty. Of course, if it turns out to be something completely different, we’ll be sure to let you know.
Related Forum: Call of Duty Forum