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Patch Update 1.05 for Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 now live, Big Changes Included

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A new patch update for Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, version 1.05, is now live on PS4 and Xbox One. Coming to PC tomorrow. The update is about 9.5GB on PS4 and 11.37GB on Xbox One (size will vary by region and platform).

This new patch update brings Nuketown map to Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 on PlayStation 4, with release on Xbox One and PC to follow on November 20.

From Treyarch: 

First up: Nuketown has arrived! One of our most popular maps of all time makes its reimagined debut in Black Ops 4, complete with its own unique surprises to discover. In true Treyarch tradition, we’re kicking off the Nuketown Featured Playlist this week on PS4 to celebrate. As a reminder, Nuketown is free for all Black Ops 4 players, launching today on PS4 and available on all platforms next week.

Today marks our biggest stability update to Zombies since launch. We’ve implemented 60+ fixes for crashes and other issues across all four maps with this update, covering everything from Easter Egg quest crashes and Max Ammo bugs to exploits in Classified and the return of Speed Cola functionality. The team has been hard at work to deliver an always-improving Zombies experience with today’s updates, and we continue to prioritize overall stability above all else.

We’ll be able to provide more concrete details on upcoming Zombies features in future community updates, including the Black Ops Authenticity Stamp system, Daily Callings, host migration support, splitscreen improvements, and more. We know there’s a ton of interest and anticipation about the road ahead for Zombies in Black Ops 4, and we’re excited to share more on what’s coming when we’re closer to debuting each new feature. For now, ensuring a fun, stable Zombies core experience for all players comes first.

We’ve made numerous gameplay balance updates to weapons across all modes, with several changes to gameplay specific to Multiplayer, including tweaks to the SG12 Strobe Light, SMGs, the Titan, and Cold Blooded. Some big changes have also been made to Ajax on the Specialist front, shortening the duration of his 9-Bang flash effect, reducing his accuracy when the Ballistic Shield is up, providing better counters to the 9-Bang and Ballistic Shield, and more. Check out the full patch notes below for every little detail.

We’ve added the new Endurance Chaos Moshpit playlist to the Featured category in MP, featuring doubled score limits across 6v6 matches of TDM, Domination, Hardpoint, and Kill Confirmed. Mercenary Capture Moshpit also makes its return to the Featured category for our lone wolves who live to PTFO, and Gun Game remains in rotation for another week. CWL Custom Games have also been added today, offering CWL ruleset variants of Hardpoint, Control, and Search & Destroy.

Big news in Blackout: the Bowie Knife joins the arsenal and Zombies invade Nuketown Island on PS4, plus all players get access to the “Icons” Character Missions to unlock Mason, Woods, Menendez, and Reznov! The new Team Scoreboard has been added to Duos and Quads in this update, so you can check on how your squad is performing during the match. We’ve also made an update to allow weapons to now stream in faster at the start of each match to make sure everyone gets into the action once they hit the ground running.

We’re also happy to announce the launch of Daily Tier Skips in Multiplayer and Blackout for all players! Simply win a match in MP or earn a Merit in Blackout each day to redeem a daily Bonus Tier in the Black Market. This allows players to earn Contraband items even faster, and it’s a permanent addition to the game. Blackjack’s Shop is also now live on PS4 in the Black Market with new ways to customize your Multiplayer and Blackout experience, arriving on additional platforms next week.

Patch Notes: 

PS4 ONLY:

Multiplayer

  • Nuketown MP map added to the Nuketown playlist.
  • Nuketown Featured Playlist added.

Blackout

  • Bowie Knife now available. Find and wield this classic weapon for 1-hit melee kills!
  • To celebrate the launch of Nuketown, Zombies now spawn on Nuketown Island with a new Zombies Supply Stash spawn location behind the Nuketown sign.

Black Market

  • Blackjack’s Shop added.

PS4 and Xbox One:

Gameplay Balance (Multiple Modes)

This gameplay update focuses on addressing the issues our community has been most passionate about: Ajax, SMGs, the SG12 Strobe Light, Cold Blooded, and much more. Some of these changes affect multiple modes, and we’ve called out where certain changes only apply to Multiplayer.

  • Submachine Guns
    • MX9
      • Adjusted 5-hit kill range up to 6m (MP only).
      • Slightly increased ADS move speed.
    • GKS
      • Adjusted 5-hit kill range up to 3m (MP only).
      • Slightly increased ADS move speed.
    • Cordite
      • Adjusted 5-hit kill range up to 3m (MP only).
      • Slightly increased ADS move speed.
    • Spitfire
      • Increased 6-hit kill range by 3m (MP only).
      • Slightly increased ADS move speed.
  • Assault Rifles
    • Maddox RFB
      • Slightly increased recoil of 1st and 2nd shots.
      • Echo Fire Operator Mod: Removed recoil penalty when equipped.
    • KN-57
      • Reduced idle sway.
      • Slightly increased 4-hit kill range by 1.5m (MP only).
    • Rampart 17
      • Reduced idle sway.
      • Slightly reduced recoil of 1st and 3rd shots.
      • Increased 4-hit kill range by 3m (MP only).
  • Tactical Rifles
    • Swordfish
      • Slightly reduced delay between bursts.
      • Reduced idle sway.
      • Penta Burst Operator Mod: Now implements standard burst delay.
  • Light Machine Guns
    • Titan
      • Reduced ADS speed.
      • Increased sprint-out time.
      • Slightly increased hip-fire spread (MP only).
      • Stock: Slightly reduced movement benefits when equipped (MP only).
  • Sniper Rifles
    • Outlaw
      • Slightly increased fire rate.
      • Greatly reduced idle sway.
      • Slightly increased ADS speed.
      • Updated ADS rechamber animation to make it easier to stay on target.
      • Recoil now centers more reliably.
      • Increased base damage increased by 10, only affecting shots to kill an already-damaged target (MP only).
    • SDM
      • Added aim-assist while hip-firing.
    • Koshka
      • Recoil now centers more reliably after the first shot.
  • Shotguns
    • SG12
      • Reduced visual effect of Strobe Light Operator Mod.
      • Reduced range at which Strobe Light affects aim-assist by 50%.
  • Attachments
    • Grip II
      • Reduced flinch mitigation.
  • Specialists
    • Ajax
      • Reduced 9-Bang’s flash effect duration by 25%.
      • 9-Bang is now countered more effectively by Tactical Mask.
      • Increased bullet spread by 25% in fortify stance when using the Ballistic Shield.
      • Ajax’s turn speed is now properly slowed when he’s hit by a Concussion Grenade with the Ballistic Shield equipped.
      • Resolved an issue that could prevent Ajax from being hit from certain angles from behind with the Ballistic Shield equipped.
      • Added a third-person sound effect for charges 2 and 3 of the 9-Bang.
    • Prophet
      • Improved Tempest accuracy.
      • Tempest charges attached to players will no longer be destroyed by explosives.
      • Resolved an issue where the Seeker Shock Mine could get stuck in a loop on Morocco.
    • Firebreak
      • The Purifier will now properly damage the Strike Team.
    • Ruin
      • Resolved an issue that could lead to the Grapple Gun failing to connect to surfaces when the player was moving.
  • Perks
    • Tactical Mask
      • Increased resistance to 9-Bang, Concussion Grenade, and Razor Wire.
    • Flak Jacket
      • Increased resistance to explosive damage.
    • Cold Blooded
      • Increased the delay period before enemy AI will target players during a period of maintained line of sight. This will give players more time to get to cover or to fight back against enemy AI.
    • Dead Silence
      • Dead Silence will now suppress player sounds related to healing, taking fall damage, or surfacing while swimming (affects MP and Blackout).
  • Scorestreaks
    • Strike Team
      • Teams can now only have one Strike Team active at a time.

Multiplayer

  • Playlist Updates
    • Endurance Chaos Moshpit added to Featured Category (6v6 with doubled score limits). Includes:
      • TDM with 150 score limit, 15 minute time limit.
      • Domination with 200 score round limit, 400 score match limit.
      • Hardpoint with 500 score limit, 10 minute time limit.
      • Kill Confirmed with 120 score limit, 15 minute time limit.
    • Mercenary Capture Moshpit added to Featured Category (5v5 Domination, Hardpoint, and Control with no parties allowed).
    • Hardcore Search & Destroy added to Featured Category.
    • Gun Game remains in Featured Category.
  • Spawns
    • Team Deathmatch
      • Spawn adjustments made for Arsenal, Summit, and Payload.
    • Domination
      • Spawn adjustments made for Arsenal, Summit, and Payload.
    • Free For All
      • Spawn adjustments made for Arsenal, Summit, and Payload.
    • Hardpoint
      • Spawn adjustments made for Arsenal, Summit, and Payload.
      • Adjusted spawn logic associated with active Hardpoint to reduce weight given to spawns near the Hardpoint. This should help reduce times when teams spawn on the same side as the active Hardpoint.
    • Control
      • Spawn adjustments made for Arsenal, Summit, and Payload.
    • Seaside
      • Spawn adjustments made to how the spawn system evaluates enemies on Seaside.
    • Gridlock
      • Spawn adjustments made to how the spawn system evaluates enemies on Gridlock.
  • Game Modes
    • Custom Games
      • Resolved an issue that would display friendlies as enemies on round switch in Custom Games.
      • Added an option in Custom Control matches to enable teamkills and suicides to count toward your team’s number of remaining lives.
    • Hardcore
      • Teamkilling a player near their own Care Package will now reflect damage back to the attacker. This is done to prevent teamkilling to steal a teammate’s Care Package. You know who you are.
      • Adjusted Health model so that we can better balance out low-damage weapons in Hardcore, such as SMGs and Pistols.
      • Armor has also been rebalanced for Hardcore, impacting a variety of weapons across different ranges. Armor can effectively counter some weapons by requiring an extra shot, and higher-damage weapons counter Armor by overriding its protection.
      • Razor Wire no longer does team damage to teammates who melee the Razor Wire.
      • Resolved an issue where Bots would not play a Hardcore variant of a mode correctly.
    • Heist
      • Seeker Shock Mine cost increased.
      • Hellstorm cost increased.
      • Lightning Strike cost increased.
      • Downed players will now bleed out if the last remaining player suicides.
      • The extraction waypoint is now shown at the start the round of the round.
      • Resolved an issue where the Lightning Strike Killcam would not show correctly if killing a downed player.
    • Search & Destroy
      • Resolved an issue that would grant an additional round win if the last enemy was killed just before the bomb denotated.
      • Resolved an issue where certain Optics could have a blue or red static background when spectating.
  • CWL Custom Games
    • Players can now select official CWL variants of Hardpoint, Control, and Search & Destroy in Custom Games. These variants will have the current rules and restrictions found in the CWL ruleset applied.
    • Introduced a Custom Game option to support competitive tuning for Specialists for CWL rules.
    • The following gameplay changes are enabled with this setting:
      • Barricade deals no damage, but still slows.
      • Barricade has reduced health.
      • Razor Wire deals no damage, but still slows.
      • Razor Wire has reduced health.
      • Sensor Dart only lasts 3 seconds, enough for 1 ping.
      • Tac-Deploy has a maximum of 4 spawns before it is destroyed.
      • Tac-Deploy has a reduced duration.
      • Reactor Core deals reduced damage.
      • Hellion Salvo rockets deal reduced splash damage to players.
      • Mesh Mines deal non-lethal damage.
  • Challenges
    • Hard Stop Challenge
    • Recovered the majority of lost Hard Stop Challenge progress that was reset for many players.
  • Camo Progression
    • Weapon Reactive Camos
      • Resolved an issue that would lead to a Reactive Camo immediately jumping from its wrapped state to stage 2.
      • Resolved an issue that would prevent a Gold camo from advancing its stage if the player was underwater.
      • Dropped weapons with wrapped reactive camos will remain wrapped when picked up by another player.
    • Hellion Salvo Launcher
      • Penthouse camo now properly progresses by destroying Sniper’s Nest, Attack Chopper, Gunship, Sentry Gun, or Mantis Scorestreaks.
  • Miscellaneous
    • Resolved a number of issues with camos applying to weapons incorrectly.
    • Adjusted Recon and custom Reflex reticles to ensure they are precisely centered.
    • Resolved an issue where being blinded or concussed would stop the player from capturing a zone in Hardpoint, Domination, or Control.
    • Resolved an issue where melee attacks could connect with enemies that were visible when the melee began, but were behind cover before the attack connected.
    • Resolved an exploit where the “Sprint Cancels Reload” option could lead to a fire rate that was faster than intended.

Zombies

  • Stability
    • Global
      • Fixed crashes where a player could be disconnected during character banter.
      • Fixed a crash in Theater that could occur when a player tried to watch playback of a game that contained 3 Bots.
      • Fixed a crash that could occur when a player disconnected while Burned Out killed Zombies.
      • Fixed a crash that could occur when a player was given or returned a weapon that was already in their inventory.
      • Fixed crashes related to invalid zombie spawn positions.
      • Fixed crashes that could occur when a player disconnected at specific times while their inventory was being updated.
      • Fixed crashes that could occur when players disconnected at specific times while downed.
      • Fixed a crash that could occur when using Nowhere But There.
      • Fixed a crash that could occur when the player disconnected during the opening moments of a custom match in which one of their Talismans or Elixirs was disabled by a Custom Mutation.
      • Fixed a crash that could occur when a player disconnected from their party while being revived.
      • Fixed a crash that could occur when a player disconnected during the Game Over screen.
      • Fixed a crash that could occur when reloading with Electric Burst active.
      • Fixed a crash that could occur when a player disconnected as they were downed with Electric Burst activated.
    • IX
      • Fixed a crash that could occur when a Tiger died, depending on where it fell and/or collided with an object.
      • Fixed a Theater crash that could occur when spectating a Homunculus de-spawn.
      • Fixed a crash that could occur during a voiceover during the Main Quest.
      • Fixed a crash that could occur during the Death of Orion quest.
      • Fixed a crash that could occur if a player disconnected when the crowd wanted to throw that player an item.
      • Fixed a crash that could occur when a player completes a challenge in IX.
    • Blood of the Dead
      • Fixed a crash that could occur in the Main Quest if the player holding the Banjo died while another player attempted to interact with the ghost that handed over the Banjo (player with the Banjo must be the one to give it back to the ghost).
      • Fixed a crash that could occur if the player disconnected from the party while using the Overkill.
      • Fixed a crash that could occur as a result of the Seagull disappearing in certain areas of the map.
    • Classified
      • Fixed a crash that could occur when a double-Pack-a-Punched weapon was combined with the Holo sight and five attachments.
      • Fixed a crash that could occur when a player disconnected while teleporting.
      • Fixed a crash that could occur during character banter in Special Rounds.
      • Fixed a crash that could occur when a player disconnected on the way to the Groom Lake defend in Rush.
    • Voyage of Despair
      • Fixed a crash that could occur when a player stood on a portal during the Main Quest.
      • Fixed a crash that could occur when the player used an upgraded Bowie Knife against a zombie.
      • Fixed a crash that could occur when the player died or disconnected from their party while standing at the window trigger for the Homunculus flag Easter Egg.
  • Gameplay
    • Global
      • Increased weapon reload speed when player has all 4 Perks.
      • Resolved an issue where weapons with a Clan Tag or Kill Counter applied could not be resupplied with ammo in-game when all attachment slots were filled.
      • Resolved an issue where certain weapons could not properly apply attachments in the Armory.
      • Resolved an issue where the Max Ammo powerup would not restore any Frag Grenade charges when the player had the Dimensional Pocket: Frag Grenade Talisman equipped.
      • Resolved an issue where Pack-a-Punching the SDM with Iron Sights as the chosen Optic could reset the Optic back to default.
      • Resolved an issue where players with the Sigil of the 4th Circle Talisman active would not have the Perk Modifier outline around the 4th Perk icon if the player did not have all 4 Perks.
      • Resolved an issue where Electric Burst did not function correctly with the Aftertaste Elixir after the player was revived and had the Perk returned by the Scepter of Ra.
      • Resolved an issue with delayed power-up spawns when using Extra Credit.
      • Resolved an issue where replacing a Mule Kick-assigned weapon removed the Mule Kick icon from the weapon.
      • Resolved an issue where the XP value could turn negative when the player doesn’t earn XP in game after achieving Prestige Master.
      • Resolved an issue that caused players’ reload speed to be increased when standing near another player using the Path of Sorrows.
    • Blood of the Dead
      • Resolved an issue with FX persisting indefinitely on the Warden when using the Ragnarok Electrocute attack.
      • Resolved an issue that could occur when a player left the Showers via Fast Travel while still holding the Banjo during the Main Quest Showers puzzle step.
      • Resolved an issue where multiple Kronoriums could spawn.
      • Resolved an issue with the Magmagat taking other weapon properties when stowed.
      • Resolved an issue where the Blue Wolf Glyph didn’t appear after a player shot and reloaded their weapon, then aimed down sights with the Spectral Shield during the Hell’s Redeemer Quest.
    • IX
      • Resolved an issue where Blightfathers and Gladiators could not be killed by the Hammer of Valhalla’s lightning bolt attack.
      • Resolved an issue with the Death of Orion challenge being completed with fewer than nine Zombies.
      • Resolved an issue where equipping the Brazen Bull caused the Death of Orion to kill at an accelerated rate.
      • Resolved an issue with Gladiator pathing getting stuck in the boss fight arena.
      • Resolved a visual issue with the Storm Spikes during the Main Quest.
    • Classified
      • Fixed an exploit where players could control the spawn and de-spawn of Zombies using the Panic Room to get to high rounds.
      • Fixed an exploit in the Morgue area found in the Laboratories where the player was able to jump onto the rim of multiple windows, allowing the player to avoid taking hits from Zombies.
      • Fixed an exploit in the corner of the Lower War Room area where the player was able to jump onto extended collision from a window, eventually causing Zombies to stop attacking the player.
      • Resolved an issue where players could be hurled from the teleporter to outside of the playable area in Groom Lake.
      • Resolved an issue where Classified did not appear in the Map selection screen when in a 4-player splitscreen party in a lobby.
      • Resolved an issue where Zombies and Hellhounds could de-spawn on the teleporter when pathing to players in the Panic Room.
  • Miscellaneous
    • Resolved an issue where Paintjobs could be deleted from the Personalize menu after trying to select them.
    • Resolved an issue where players could load into a match before the host did, resulting in no player control.
    • Resolved an issue where playing a local Zombies game and then switching to an online lobby would result in no default map being shown.
    • Resolved a camo issue where red spikes could protrude from a number of weapons.
    • Resolved splash art in loading screen where the wrong game mode would be shown.
    • Custom Mutations Round Cap rule now properly ends the game after players complete the number of rounds selected.
    • Added description in Create-A-Class on rollover for Special Weapon stages.

Blackout

  • General
    • Item pickups now stream in faster at the start of a match.
    • New Team Scoreboard in Duos and Quads can be accessed during the match to see how your squad is performing.
    • Various stability improvements and bug fixes.
  • Character Missions
    • “Icons” Character Missions now available to find and unlock (Mason, Woods, Menendez, Reznov).
    • Nomad’s Character Mission requirements have been adjusted to remove the dependency of other player character choices.

SOURCE: Reddit

Call of Duty

Activision executives reportedly discussing end of Call of Duty annual releases

A new report claims Activision are considering scrapping the series’ annual release schedule following Microsoft’s buyout.

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Vanguard and Modern Warfare 2 characters

Activision Blizzard executives are reportedly considering ending the Call of Duty franchise’s annual release schedule, with Bloomberg claiming discussions are ongoing.

For years, fans have become accustomed to receiving a new Call of Duty game every year. Without fail, Activision have published the latest entry in the legendary FPS franchise in October or November, giving players a new game to grind into the holiday seasons.

Some players have suggested this isn’t always a good thing, as this cycle gives CoD’s three developers a limited time to work on games, which can sometimes lead to issues when they launch. Sledgehammer Games have already delayed Vanguard Season 2 to try and address the problems plaguing the game.

Now, it appears that Activision’s higher-ups may be coming around to the idea of ending yearly releases for good.

Vanguard players running in-game

According to a new report from Bloomberg, high-level employees at Activision “have discussed moving away from the annual release schedule.”

Jason Schreier reports that these plans haven’t been finalized yet, but there is a belief among the franchise’s development teams that this would “please players and help bolster the franchise” by lightening the intense workloads they currently face.

This debate has been sparked after the lackluster reception to Vanguard, although Schreier states any change is unlikely to happen for at least a year or two, with Activision banking on 2022’s rumored Modern Warfare II to boost the franchise.

The move away from yearly releases would certainly offer developers more time to tweak and polish the game, and avoid many of the criticisms leveled at their games in the early days. Halo fans had to wait 6 years for Infinite, but the game was met with widespread acclaim at launch.

With the Microsoft acquisition of Activision, it’s expected that we could see some major changes to the publisher’s titles, although Phil Spencer has moved to calm fears that CoD could become an Xbox exclusive title.

For more on what could happen, check out how Microsoft and Xbox Studios could change Call of Duty forever.

Image Credits: Activision Blizzard

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Here’s why 54% of CoD fans are happy about Microsoft’s Activision buyout

A recent poll revealed that 54% of Call of Duty fans were positive about Microsoft’s Activision buyout, and here’s their reasoning.

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CoD's Captain Price and Microsoft Activision Blizzard

It was revealed in a Charlie INTEL poll that the majority of Call of Duty fans were glad of Microsoft’s planned Activision Blizzard takeover, with 54% agreeing it’s a good thing.

The game’s industry was shocked when Microsoft announced they’re planning to buy Activision Blizzard King for almost $70 billion. This gives them exclusive rights to some of the biggest gaming franchises in the world such as Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, and Overwatch.

We asked the Call of Duty community their thoughts, and the majority were excited about the franchise’s future under Microsoft. However, some were more hesitant to celebrate the news.

54% of CoD players say Microsoft’s Activision buyout is a good thing

Charlie INTEL conducted a poll on January 19, roughly 24 hours after the monumental news broke, asking Call of Duty fans: “What’s your reaction to the Microsoft buyout of Activision Blizzard?”

Over half of the 28,000 votes believed it will be a good thing. Just over 12% think it will be bad for the industry, and 33% aren’t sure yet.

Unfortunately, Microsoft’s plans for Activision’s properties are as clear as mud. They sound hopeful that Activision titles will hit Xbox Game Pass, but we’ll likely need to wait until the acquisition goes through to know more.

Why CoD players are happy with Microsoft’s Activision buyout

Microsoft buying Activision Blizzard

Several players explained why they think Microsoft’s Activision Blizzard takeover is a good thing.

“For worker culture at Activision Blizzard it seems like things will likely improve,” said popular Call of Duty leaker TheGhostOfHope. “COD will likely see a much more healthy developer ecosystem as well. Microsoft being able to buy the competition like they are is a slippery slope long term though. Overall I’d say it’s good.”

One player was extremely positive about the acquisition, saying that “if anyone thinks this is a bad thing” then “you need to think again.” They believe that “Microsoft has come a long way and isn’t spending 70 billion to make CoD worse. It can only get better. But it will take time.”

Many were hopeful that Microsoft would scrap Call of Duty’s yearly release cycle. Both Black Ops Cold War and Vanguard were released with broken and missing features, and many players believe these developers should be given much more time to perfect the game.

“I overall see this as a good thing and can hope that xbox will stop the yearly cod cycle and fix warzone,” said one player. TangoCheeseball echoed their statement, saying they hope that Microsoft supports CoD 2022 for two years, and then Treyarch returns with a new title in 2024 or 2025.

Xbox players were obviously glad, expecting to receive exclusive content and Call of Duty on Game Pass. “I’m on Xbox so game pass bouta be blessed but not sure if it’ll be a upgrade for Cod or if it will just stay the same. Either way a positive for xbox,” said LiLbotboi.

But of course, not every player was happy about the acquisition. Many had doubts over Microsoft’s monopoly over the games industry, with them already owning Bethesda, and worried that Call of Duty would go Xbox/PC exclusive.

“If they choose to make all of Activision’s future games exclusive to Xbox/PC, it’s doing a disservice to all gamers,” said Elkucuy.

Newbro101_ was more open-minded, saying: “It’s way too early to tell if it’s a good thing or not, once I notice an actual change in games it’s good [I guess].”


There’s no way of knowing what Microsoft has in store for Call of Duty and its development teams. We can only hope the change is positive for both Activision staff and the CoD community.

However, we have some thoughts on what may change, so check out the five ways Microsoft buying Activision could change Call of Duty forever.

Image Credits: Activision Blizzard / Microsoft

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Call of Duty

How Microsoft buying Activision could change Call of Duty forever

Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard is a seizmic shift for gaming, and Xbox could make make some major changes to Call of Duty.

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Call of Duty characters with the CoD logo

The world of gaming was rocked on January 18 when Microsoft confirmed they had agreed to buy Activision Blizzard. With Xbox Studios set to add CoD’s developers to their sprawling family of game creators, we take a look at five ways Call of Duty could change forever.

It’s rare that real surprises take place in the gaming industry, but everyone was left speechless when word of Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard broke on January 18. Worth close to $70 billion according to reports, it immediately becomes gaming’s biggest buyout ever.

The deal, which will close before June 2023, will see CoD developers Treyarch, Infinity Ward, Sledgehammer Games, and Raven Software all become wider parts of the Xbox Studios family, bringing past and future Call of Duty titles with them.

With such a seismic change, what could the Microsoft buyout mean for the future of the series, and what changes could Xbox Studios make to Call of Duty moving forward? We’ve picked out five ways the legendary FPS franchise could change forever once the deal is complete.

Xbox's Acitivison Blizzard acquisition image featuring Overwatch, CoD, and WoW.

Call of Duty becomes Xbox-exclusive

The topic on every Call of Duty fan’s lips right now is Xbox exclusivity. With Microsoft adding the biggest console FPS title to their portfolio, they could use it to drive consumers away from the PS5 by announcing that future CoD titles are only available on the Xbox Series X|S.

Thankfully, that seems fairly unlikely, at least for the time being. Microsoft Gaming’s CEO Phil Spencer has already eased fears, telling Bloomberg that “it’s not our intent to pull communities away from [Sony’s] platform, and we remain committed to that.”

Still, we wouldn’t expect to see Sony’s deal for exclusive content on PlayStation consoles continue for long, with Microsoft likely to move that feature to Xbox as soon as possible.


A focus on Ranked Play

Ranked Play is a controversial word for CoD players. For years, players have bemoaned the franchise’s lackluster, and sometimes entirely missing, ranked playlists. A decade on, Black Ops 2’s League Play is still the gold standard in the franchise.

Under Xbox though, this might finally change. Halo Infinite featured a ranked playlist at launch, something we’ve been begging developers to do for years.

It’s unlikely that this will be Xbox’s biggest focus, but perhaps we could see CoD developers following 343 Industries’ path in the future.

Call of Duty Ranked play emblems

CoD’s annual release schedule ends

This one is pretty unlikely, but as it stands, Xbox don’t have any titles that release on a yearly schedule – something Call of Duty is synonymous with.

Halo fans had to wait six years between Guardians and Infinite, and while we don’t think there would ever be such a huge gap between titles, Xbox Studios may be more open to granting developers more time to polish games before release.

A greater focus on frequent Warzone updates, and using existing Xbox studios to help Raven Software, could help to plug a longer gap between mainline franchise releases.


Remastered CoD games & Xbox Game Pass

Game Pass has been a huge focus for Xbox, giving players the opportunity to play hundreds of games, starting at $9.99 a month. What better way to get Call of Duty players on the service than adding fan-favorite titles to its extensive library?

Who wouldn’t be pulling out their credit card to get back into CoD 4’s legendary campaign, or to dive into World At War’s classic Zombies mode?

If Microsoft wanted to go the extra mile, they could even add remastered versions of these games. Rumors suggest that an updated version of Modern Warfare 2 multiplayer was in development at one point, and Game Pass could be the perfect place to release it.

Modern Warfare 2 players fighting on Rust

Amazing crossovers

Minecraft Steve in Zombies? Master Chief in multiplayer? Forza cars in Warzone? All of these crazy ideas are now possible, as we expect to see major crossovers between Xbox games and Call of Duty.

While CoD’s Attack on Titan collaboration wasn’t well-received, the teams who create Microsoft’s iconic characters could actively work with studios like Sledgehammer and Raven to create awesome skins and cosmetics.

And really, who wouldn’t want to win a Warzone match as a kitted-out Spartan from Halo?

Spartan in Halo Infinite

Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard creates so many options and theories, it could make your head spin. The reality is that we’ve never seen any deal as big as this in gaming, and the possibilities are endless. These are just a few possibilities, but Xbox may have even bigger plans than we could imagine.

With so many ideas and concerns, all we can do for now is wait and see how it all plays out. Still, we can’t contain our excitement at what could come next when the deal concludes before June 2023.

Image Credits: Activision Blizzard / Microsoft / 343 Industries

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