It took a long time for Activision Blizzard to say that the annual Call of Duty release schedule is no more.
An Activision Blizzard representative told CharlieIntel that the company plans to make all of its US-based Quality Assurance testers full-time employees. Call of Duty has “grown and changed,” according to the same email. The game’s development cycle has gone from “an annual release to a “always on” model,” the email says. This would mean that Activision Blizzard is changing the business model of its best-known shooter to focus more on content that is related to the game’s live service.
NEW: Activision Blizzard announces all US based QA testers will be converted to full time employees, access to full benefits, and a hourly wages increase to minimum $20/hr.
Statement from the company + internal email: pic.twitter.com/SWsD8aKfAW
— CharlieIntel (@charlieINTEL) April 7, 2022
All of the Call of Duty teams should be able to spend more time making their games better in the future. Warzone will also get more support in the future. The best thing that could happen is that we get to see more of 2019’s Modern Warfare and less of what we saw in the past two years. Both Black Ops: Cold War and Vanguard sold well, but the consensus is that these two games were rushed out of the gate more than other games.
People don’t like the word “live service.” Gran Turismo 7 is a good example of this. Gran Turismo 7 is a great game that is ruined by having to be connected to the internet at all times. Also, people think live service games aren’t very good because they came out way too early and rely too much on a steady flow of money to keep them going. It doesn’t seem like Call of Duty has ever had to worry about money or having a lot of people play it. The series is one of the most profitable video game series in history. Even so, you can’t help but be worried that moving to a “always on” model will do more harm than good.