The typical annual Call of Duty release planned for 2023 has reportedly been delayed into 2024.
According to Bloomberg, sources familiar with the situation, executives in charge of the franchise have made the decision early after "a recent entry in the series failed to meet expectations," leading them to believe that Call of Duty's current annual cadence of releases was too rapid. The decision is reportedly unrelated to the recent Microsoft purchase of the publisher, and the 2022 Call of Duty release is still on track.
The "recent entry" is most likely Call of Duty: Vanguard, which faced release competition with Battlefield 2042 this past holiday season, as well as the free-to-play Call of Duty: Warzone. A previous report noted that Vanguard's sales had also been suffering due to players feeling fatigued at Call of Duty's constant release cadence, making them less interested in buying a new entry every year.
The annual Call of Duty release has traditionally been one of gaming's biggest moneymakers, typically topping sales charts in the US at launch and remaining in the top ten year-round. With a massive sales gap now looming, Activision is reportedly working on other projects to fill in the gap such as ongoing content for 2022's Call of Duty release and a separate new, free-to-play online game that's as yet unannounced.
One interesting note is that this could mean Call of Duty players on PlayStation are able to stick with the series on their console of choice for a bit longer, as Microsoft has reportedly said it wants to release the next three games (Call of Duty 2022, 2024, and Warzone 2) on all platforms post-acquisition.
Rebekah Valentine is a news reporter for IGN. You can find her on Twitter @duckvalentine.