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Report: Call of Duty's 2023 game is a Modern Warfare II extension

Not Modern Warfare III, more like Modern Warfare II.5.

Justin Carter

February 24, 2023

2 Min Read
Ghost in the cover art for Infinity Ward's Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II.

Activision Blizzard's plan for Call of Duty in 2023? More Modern Warfare II. According to a new report from Bloomberg's Jason Schreier, this year's entry is planned as a follow-up to 2022's Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II. 

The Infinity Ward-developed title became a billion dollar hit within a week and a half of release, and was one of the most-played games of 2022. It also set a new sales record for Activision Blizzard. 

However, this next entry in the sub-series will be developed by Sledgehammer Games. Earlier this month, Activision Blizzard said a new premium title was expected for 2023, and this game is said to continue the Modern Warfare story, though it supposedly won't be called Modern Warfare III. 

Bloomberg added that Sledgehammer was previously on the hook to make a "premium expansion" for Modern Warfare II, but it's now ballooned into its own standalone title. The alleged plan (at time of writing) is for the unannounced game to feature several maps and modes from its predecessor. 

It's also claimed by Bloomberg that Infinity Ward leadership, and developers from Treyarch, are helping Sledgehammer with this currently unannounced game.

Sledgehammer's Modern Warfare may change the game

Just from Bloomberg's wording, it sounds like Sledgehammer is making the Call of Duty equivalent to Bungie's Halo 3: ODST from 2009.

Last year, it was reported that Treyarch was pushing its next Call of Duty game to 2024. This year would've marked the first time without an entry in the annual franchise, but Sledgehammer's game now throws a wrench into those earlier assumptions. 

Every Call of Duty game has been treated like its own big thing, but an entry that functions as a side story (of sorts) lets the Modern Warfare sub-franchise persist until Infinity Ward presumably returns in 2025 with Modern Warfare III

For Sledgehammer specifically, this new positioning may turn it into a different type of support developer for the Black Ops and Modern Warfare series. In the past, Sledgehammer made Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare and Call of Duty: Vanguard, but those games never received sequels.

Call of Duty continues to be a key player in Activision Blizzard's business. Should this Modern Warfare title take off with players, its release may open up new possibilities for the long-running shooter series. 

About the Author(s)

Justin Carter

Contributing Editor, GameDeveloper.com

A Kansas City, MO native, Justin Carter has written for numerous sites including IGN, Polygon, and SyFy Wire. In addition to Game Developer, his writing can be found at io9 over on Gizmodo. Don't ask him about how much gum he's had, because the answer will be more than he's willing to admit.

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