This week has been an interesting week for Activision Blizzard’s Esports division and leagues.
It was first reported earlier this week that Hector ‘H3CZ’ Rodriguez is in talks with Immortals to reacquire the OpTic Gaming brand. With that, H3CZ would also acquire the CDL LA Spot.
Since H3CZ is a part of NRG has Co-CEO with the Chicago Huntsmen, Activision’s rules state one organization cannot own two spots in the same league. Rumors of who H3CZ plans to sell the spot to is rampant, but no official information has been disclosed.
Late on Thursday, Esports Observed also reported that Pete Vlastelica, the Commissioner of the Overwatch League stepped down from his role.
Now, EsportsObserved reports that Johanna Faries, current Commissioner of the Call of Duty League, is expanding her role to become ‘Head of Leagues’ at Activision Blizzard. In this newly created position, she will lead both Overwatch League and Call of Duty League’s league administration and broadcast operations.
Brandon Snow, current Chief Revenue Officer of Activision Blizzard Esports, is expanding his role to include marketing & analytics for the league. The former Chief Marketing Officer of Activision Blizzard Esports left in early September to be VP of DC Comics division of WarnerBros.
Both these new roles will take effect October 12, per EsportsObserved.
The first season of the Call of Duty League ended on August 31 with the Call of Duty League Championship Weekend. The event featured the most viewers in Call of Duty esports history, capping off a dynamically changing year with the on going pandemic.
Call of Duty League’s second season is set to kick off in 2021 with some major changes. The league announced that it will return to a 4v4 format, leaving one player on each roster looking for another starting role. They also announced that matches will be played on PC using controllers going forward instead of extending the esports partnership with PlayStation.
Activision has not announced these changes officially at this time.
Activision apologize for using artist’s design in now canceled Vanguard & Warzone skin
Activision have scrapped an unreleased Warzone and Vanguard skin after using an artist’s work without permission.
Activision admitted to the major misstep of using an artist’s work without permission. The original art was to feature in an upcoming Vanguard and Warzone skin that has since been axed.
Major content drops like new seasons or midseason updates deliver weapons, maps, and changes to Call of Duty games, but they also tend to bring brand-new skins to enjoy. Vanguard and Warzone have seen some noteworthy skins that certainly got players talking.
After all, who could forget the Armored Titan, or Godzilla and King Kong skins? At the start of Season 4 Reloaded, players also received a new Terminator crossover. However, teasers for Season 4 Reloaded also hinted at a mysterious wolf-like skin.
After the wolf skin was teased in an official Call of Duty blog post, it was later inexplicably removed and replaced from the very same post. It turns out, Activision used content that did not belong to them in order to create the aforementioned skin.
When the wolf skin was first teased, it certainly generated a ton of buzz, or rather raised a ton of eyebrows. The anthropomorphic Operator definitely sticks out in a WWII-era Call of Duty game. Nonetheless, fans were excited at the prospect of running around as a wolf in Warzone.
Unfortunately, that idea won’t come to fruition as Activision have confirmed that they completely removed the skin from their planned content drop for Season 4 Reloaded.
It seems Activision overstepping bounds is the reason behind the skin’s cancelation.
An artist claimed that the wolf skin, also known as Samoyed skin, was stolen without their permission. In a strange turn of events, Activision has issued an apology, seemingly confirming the artist’s claims.
In a statement, Activision admitted that they “regrettably erred in our process and have removed this imagery from the game,” apologizing for the misstep.
While fans may be disappointed to lose their chance at slaying in a furry wolf skin, most would agree that if the artist’s claims are legitimate, the greater injustice was corrected as nobody should have their work stolen without credit.
For more, check out how CoD players are thrilled with the rumored change to Modern Warfare 2’s movement.
Image Credit: Activision
Activision Blizzard rake in $1.2 billion despite Warzone & Vanguard bringing lowest player count in years
Although 2022 has seen CoD with its lowest player count in years, Activision Blizzard still raked in $1.2 billion from microtransactions.
Although Q1 and Q2 2022 saw Activision have its lowest monthly player count since 2019, the publisher upped its Call of Duty microtransaction revenue in the second quarter, helping to rake in over $1.2 billion.
Activision Blizzard held their quarterly earnings call on August 1, and it was a mixed bag for the Call of Duty franchise.
Alongside teasing that there will be a premium CoD game in 2023, Activision revealed they have seen the lowest monthly player count since 2019 but their in-game cosmetics have been selling well, seeing a notable quarterly revenue increase.
In their earnings call, Activision Blizzard revealed that they raked in $1.2 billion from microtransactions during Q2 2022, which they said was a solid increase from Q1.
Call of Duty’s microtransactions have only got more ambitious as time goes on, bringing Godzilla and King Kong-themed Operator skins back with Season 3, and officially licensed Terminator skins live in Season 4 Reloaded.
“Call of Duty net bookings on console and PC grew sequentially in the second quarter, following gameplay improvements and seasonal content across Call of Duty: Vanguard and Call of Duty: Warzone that were well-received by players,” stated Activision Blizzard in their earnings call.
They also confirmed that “Net bookings for Call of Duty Mobile were consistent with the first quarter.”
However, “Activision’s second quarter segment revenue and operating income declined year-over-year, reflecting lower engagement for the Call of Duty franchise, but grew versus the first quarter.”
Despite microtransactions faring so well, Q2 2022 saw Activision’s monthly player count drop below 100 million for the first time since 2019. Back in June 2021, there were 127 million monthly active users across consoles, PC, and mobile, but this dropped to only 94 million in June 2022.
There’s no knowing what has caused this, but there are more players back at work and school, and Warzone’s devs candidly admitted that they “f**ked stuff up” with Caldera’s launch. Plus, players have been vocal in that they didn’t want another WW2 game, and have been slamming the devs over the lack of new Vanguard content.
Image Credit: Activision
Activision report hints at new Call of Duty title in 2023
An Activision Blizzard Q2 2022 earnings press release hints at the release of a brand-new Call of Duty title in 2023.
A previous report indicated that there wouldn’t be a Call of Duty game released in 2023 after development delays persisted. It seems these rumors may not come to fruition as an Activision report suggests there will be a premium Call of Duty title released in 2023.
Thanks to a Bloomberg report, Call of Duty fans already accepted that in 2023, they wouldn’t be getting a new CoD title for the first time in almost 20 years. While excitement for Modern Warfare 2 is high at the moment, most players were wary of a two-year game cycle.
Luckily, an August 1 report from Activision indicates that the franchise may very well receive a brand-new title in 2023.
Activision Blizzard’s Q2 2022 press release in which the company reveals their earnings for the period in question had some shocking bits of information to reveal. For starters, it seems like Vanguard and Warzone managed to increase in-game revenue in Q2.
Despite this increase, the company still produced lower year-over-year numbers than expected. There’s no telling how these poor numbers may have influenced decisions about future Call of Duty titles but it’s safe to say that Activision have lots in store when it comes to Modern Warfare 2 and Warzone 2.
In addition, to an exciting slate of 2022 releases, the report also hints at a new premium Call of Duty title in 2023.
Although nothing has been confirmed as of yet, the wording found in the report is certainly suggestive of a 2023 release.
As Activision detailed their plans for the future of the franchise they revealed that they would be, “continuing development of new premium content planned for 2023 and beyond.”
Players were quick to suggest that the premium 2023 content in question could be Modern Warfare 2 DLC or a standalone Zombies experience.
However, this is likely not the case as CharlieIntel explained: “Activision refers to the yearly CoD release as ‘premium’ as it’s paid. So definitely implying something more than just new content is coming next year.”
Stay tuned for more information concerning the possibility of a new Call of Duty title in 2023. For the time being, you can check out how to get Modern Warfare 2 beta codes by watching CDL Champs 2022.
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