While it's been rumored for months that the next entry in the Call of Duty franchise will be a Black Ops title – specifically, Black Ops Cold War, if the Doritos promotional campaign is accurate – Activision itself has now lent some 'official' weight to the theory.
Since 2012, the first-person shooter franchise has alternated between developers Treyarch, Infinity Ward, and Sledgehammer Games in three-year cycles, but this year it's seemingly bucking the trend and skipping Sledgehammer.
Activision has confirmed in an earnings call that studios Treyarch and Raven will be working in partnership on the upcoming title, and considering that this development duo has been responsible for every Black Ops entry to date, this further cements the rumor that Black Ops Cold War will be releasing this year.
During the call, the publisher pointed at the current success of its Modern Warfare and Warzone titles, then went on to state that “Activision will continue to build on its direct, digital relationship with this expanded community as it delivers the next premium release for Call of Duty, coming from Treyarch and Raven Software".
As for Raven, this development studio has been involved in many of the series’ previous titles (albeit usually on the multiplayer side of things), although it isn’t typically listed as being a co-developer.
This could signify a greater focus on multiplayer than previous titles, although it’s always been a significant selling point for the franchise, with the last Black Ops title forgoing a traditional story-based single-player campaign in favor of a number of ‘solo missions’. Alternatively, it could just be an appropriate acknowledgement for the studio’s ongoing efforts.
While this doesn’t fully confirm that the next Call of Duty title will be a Black Ops game, it certainly seems to glue together all the existing rumors neatly. Stay tuned to hear more about Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War when it gets officially revealed, which we imagine isn’t far off now.