This year’s Call of Duty will be led by Sledgehammer Games and seen during World War II, according to media reports VGC understands to be accurate.
Modern Warzone reported this week that Activision’s next shooter, coming out later this year, will be called Call of Duty WW2: Vanguard. This was later confirmed by Eurogamer sources, and VGC can also confirm the report.
It is understood that the Sledgehammer game will look back to the Modern Warfare 2019 engine, ‘IW8’, which also runs Warzone, after last year’s Cold War switched to an upgraded version of Treyarch’s Black Ops 4 technology.
Both Modern Warfare / Warzone and Black Ops Cold War share underlying technology and tools, but otherwise much of the engine used in the Cold War can be traced back to 201
Back to the Modern Warfare engine is likely to be welcomed by players who prefer the look and feel of the 2019 game, especially as it should make switching between Warzone and WW2 Vanguard’s multiplayer mode feel more consistent.
The decision to use the technology is probably partly motivated by the huge popularity of Warzone, which has gathered over 85 million players as of December 2020, according to Activision.
Call of Duty WW2: Vanguard is likely to share weapons and progression with Warzone, as Black Ops Cold War does, but it is unclear how deep the integration with this year’s game will go, due to both scheduling issues and the significant change in timing.
As first reported by VGC, Warzone’s Verdansk map will finally move to its second iteration with a 1980 theme next month, with new locations with a theme around the Black Ops series.
Warzone’s map update has been around for a long time. Originally, the restart of Verdansk in the 1980s was due to more coincidence with the release of Black Ops Cold War in November last year, but several factors led to the launch time slipping all the way into 2021.
With Sledgehammer’s premium games coming out later this year, Warzone is unlikely to see a similar upgrade that coincides with that game until at least 2022, if it decides to have one at all. It’s also very possible that Warzone could skip World War II, when it comes to map updating, and instead focus on coinciding with the 2022 game.
Last year, sources told VGC that Activision did not intend to lower its premium Call of Duty release, which will continue to be created under the leadership of Treyarch, Infinity Ward and Sledgehammer.
Warzone is seen as a third pillar along with Call of Duty Mobile and future full-price releases, which will continue to offer a ‘premium’ package with campaign, multiplayer and Zombies / Spec Ops modes in the future.
Given the huge popularity of the free game, combined with the rich history of the Call of Duty series, it makes sense for Warzone to continually evolve with content from each premium entry, rather than creating a different battle king for each sub-brand.