Photo Credit: TheFamilyVideoGamers/YouTube
Back in February, publisher Activision told investors during its earnings call that the next Call of Duty title would take the franchise “back to its roots”, which hinted at the possibility of a World War II setting. Now, a leak seems to be confirming just that.
According to images obtained by YouTube channel The Family Video Gamers, this year’s Call of Duty will return to the 1940s, and will be called Call of Duty: WWII. The pictures in question appear to be early marketing concepts, so it’s entirely possible that the name is just a placeholder.
You can see the 1944 Allied landings at Normandy in the images, which were sent to a member of the YouTube channel by an anonymous source, who claimed they were acquired from “someone very close to the project over at Sledgehammer [Games]”.
To keep up with its annual release strategy, Activision now rotates through three different studios – Infinity Ward, Treyarch, and Sledgehammer Games – for Call of Duty instalments.
Last year’s Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare – which Activision said didn’t “resonate” with fans, and “underperformed” – was developed by Infinity Ward. Treyarch’s latest effort was the one prior to that, 2015’s Call of Duty: Black Ops III. Sledgehammer worked on 2014’s Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare.
Four of the first five Call of Duty titles were set during World War II, before Activision firmly moved into a modern war setting. It’s possible that the critical acclaim and popular success garnered by EA’s Battlefield 1 – set during World War I – played a part in Activision’s decision to pivot back to the series’ origins.
We’ll find out if that’s the case around late April – early May, which is usually when Activision first talks about their yearly Call of Duty release.