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Call of Duty 2023 reportedly was Modern Warfare 2 "premium expansion", now standalone release

Will continue MW2 story and include its multiplayer content.

Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2
Image credit: Activision

This year's Call of Duty will be another Modern Warfare game, just a year after 2022's Modern Warfare 2.

That's according to Bloomberg's Jason Schreier, who detailed Activision's upcoming entry in its annual shooter series in a report last night.

This game was originally planned as a "premium expansion" for Modern Warfare 2, but is now being spun out into a full release, breaking the series' regular pattern of cycling through its various sub-brands.

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Modern Warfare 2-2, or whatever it ends up being called, is reportedly being developed by Sledgehammer Games, which previously helmed 2021's Call of Duty Vanguard. The studio is also receiving assistance from main Modern Warfare creator Infinity Ward.

It's expected the game will include familiar maps and modes from last year's effort - raising the question whether it will end up splitting the userbase between those who have 2-2, and those who don't.

A continuation of last year's Modern Warfare 2 story will also be included.

Activision's decision to launch a second premium Modern Warfare game in as many years is an interesting choice for the company, which has previously been criticised for releasing Call of Duty games too quickly, with too little ongoing support.

Of course, Activision also now has its ongoing Warzone 2.0 to lean on for revenue - although its numbers have dipped after launch.

Bloomberg reported back in January 2022 that Activision was considering ditching Call of Duty's relentless yearly release schedule, which has been in place since 2005.

A month later, Bloomberg stated this had indeed been agreed, after displeasure among Activision executives at the relatively poor sales performance of 2021's Call of Duty Vanguard.

Activision issued a statement in response to that report, saying it had "an exciting slate of premium and free-to-play Call of Duty experiences for this year, next year and beyond". But it did not flatly deny that 2023's Call of Duty would not be an all-new game - and here we are.

Missing from all this is Activision's other main Call of Duty studio, Treyarch. It is expected to release another title in its popular Black Ops sub-brand, scheduled for 2024.

It's been a dramatic week for news surrounding Call of Duty maker Activision. Microsoft's ongoing attempt to buy the company for $68.7bn was the focus of a hearing designed to smooth the deal past reluctant regulators.