Big picture: Next year will be an unusual, transitional year for the Call of Duty franchise. Since Microsoft is acquiring the series’ publisher, Activision will not be releasing a new main installment of the series, but will instead focus on paid content. The company confirmed this by reporting a significant decline in revenue.

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This week, Activision Blizzard announced plans to release “premium content” for Call of Duty in 2023, likely to make up for the lack of a new full version this year. This news is part of the company’s financial report for the second quarter of 2022, which indicates decrease in user involvement in the franchise.

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In February, Activision disclosed that it will not release the main Call of Duty game in 2023, which will delay the release of the next Black Ops Treyarch game. This absence will mark the first year since 2004 without a new entry as the franchise turns 20 years old.

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Activision hasn’t said what form the new premium content will take, but it could mean a change or a departure from Call of Duty. The series used to expand with core games with paid card packs, but ended that practice with 2019’s Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, turning to battle passes and other microtransactions to ensure all players have the same cards. 2023 content will most likely be for the Modern Warfare sequel, which releases on October 28th. Activision’s free-to-play Call of Duty Warzone sequel is coming later this year.

Second-quarter financial results containing Activision’s announcement show that overall revenues are down nearly 30 percent year-over-year, likely due to a significant decline in Call of Duty players. Over the past year, Activision’s monthly active users have steadily declined every quarter from 127 million in June 2021 to 94 million in June 2022. The number of active players has not fallen below 100 million since 2019. On the contrary, the number of Blizzard and King users has significantly decreased. smaller shifts over the same period.

The drop in Call of Duty users may be due to disappointment with the franchise’s latest release, Vanguard, which featured some content. delayed Earlier this year. Another possible factor is that Warzone players are waiting for the sequel, which reload all progress from the first game.

While Microsoft prepares to buy Activision Blizzard, Sony said Brazil’s competition regulator is concerned about the possible consequences. The company believes that if Call of Duty games stop supporting the PlayStation, it will affect many consumers’ decisions to buy a console and that no one else will be able to replicate the series’ brand. So far, Microsoft has not indicated that it is making Call of Duty exclusive to its platforms.