New information about 2021’s Call of Duty game have been revealed ahead of an official announcement, including a return to a World War II setting and more. Eurogamer backed up Modern Warzone’s report that claimed 2021’s game is coming from Sledgehammer Games, the studio behind 2017’s Call of Duty: WWII.
According to Eurogamer, the game is called Call of Duty: Vanguard. Modern Warzone reported that this may be a placeholder name, but Eurogamer said the current plan is to call in Vanguard, though the site also acknowledged this could change.
What’s more, the report says Vanguard–or whatever the new game is called–will take place in a “traditional WWII setting.” This contrasts Modern Warzone’s report that the game takes place–at least in part–in an “alternate timeline” where WWII did not end in 1945.
Neither Modern Warzone nor Eurogamer said where their information came from, beyond unnamed sources who indicated the information to be accurate.
It would be no surprise to learn that Sledgehammer is developing 2021’s Call of Duty, as the studio historically releases new Call of Duty titles on odd-numbered years, except for 2014, when it shipped Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare.
2017’s Call of Duty: WWII brought the series back to the historical period and changed up the gameplay in a major way. It brought the series back to basics after 2016’s Infinite Warfare, which was set in the future and featured all manner of futuristic warfare technologies and systems.
Activision management has said 2021’s Call of Duty game–whatever it is–will not sell as well as Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War. But that’s nothing unusual or unexpected, especially given that 2020 was a banner year for games due in part to the pandemic, which in turn will make comparisons with this year’s game difficult to match. Also, Black Ops is a well-established and fan favorite sub-brand that historically performs very well.
The new Call of Duty game from Sledgehammer, if it is indeed real, will be made under new leadership. 2017’s Call of Duty: WWII was led by co-game directors Glen Schofield and Michael Condrey, both of whom have since left Activision. Condrey now heads up the new 2K studio 31st Union, while Schofield’s new studio Striking Distance is making a horror game called The Callisto Protocol.
Another big unanswered question is how 2021’s Call of Duty will be incorporated into the battle royale game Warzone. Activision has said Warzone is the connective tissue that will tie together future Call of Duty premium games, and this is expected to continue.
In April, it’s believed that a nuke will go off inside Warzone and re-launch the map with a new theme focused on 2020’s Black Ops Cold War. After that, Activision might change the Warzone map again in 2022 based on 2021’s Call of Duty game, or it might not, according to VGC.
GameSpot has contacted Activision in an attempt to clarify the latest rumors and reports about this year’s Call of Duty game.
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