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What We’re Looking Forward To in 2020

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2019 and the decade is coming to an end here shortly. Charlie Intel started up in the early part of this decade, back in 2011 with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. 8.5 years later, nine Call of Duty games covered, we’re at the end of this decade.

On Friday, we posed a question on Twitter: what was your favorite Call of Duty game of the decade? The question was so popular it trended on Twitter, and the resounding answer was Black Ops 2 – as that trended worldwide following our question.

Now, with the end of the decade almost here, we wanted to put together a post on what we’re looking forward to going into 2020 – from Call of Duty to consoles and more. Due note, some of the stuff we’re speculating are rumors (and will be noted as such!).

Without further ado, let’s get into what we’re looking forward to in 2020.

Next-Generation Consoles

2020 will be another big year for consoles. The new PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X will both be arriving in Holiday 2020. The PlayStation 4 and Xbox One both launched in 2013; so seven years later, we’re getting a new generation of consoles – just in time for the start of the new decade.

PlayStation 5

The next PlayStation console will be arriving in Holiday 2020. Sony has thus far announced just a few details on the new console, including first details on the console’s specs and the controller.

If you missed it, here’s quick recap of the console details:

  • Backwards Compatible with PS4 games
  • Still using Physical Media
  • 8 Core AMD Processor
  • Radeon Navi GPU (Supports up to 8K resolution)
  • SSD and More Storage (Spider-Man loads times from 15 seconds to 0.8)
  • Raytracing

And here’s what’s known about the new DUALSHOCK controller for PS5:

  • New PS5 Controller uses USB Type C
  • PS5 Controller has Haptic Feedback
  • Controller has now adaptive triggers
  • New Speaker system on the controller
  • Better Battery Life
  • Heavier than the DUALSHOCK 4, but will be lighter than a Xbox One controller

There’s a lot more information to come in 2020 as PS5 launch approaches. We’ll be closely looking to see how Sony positions the PlayStation 5 for 2020 and the launch price for the console.

Xbox Series X

Microsoft first announced that a new generation of Xbox would be coming during E3 2019, where the company announced that the new generation is “Project Scarlet.” The told fans it would be a top of the line console with advanced specs and more.

The company then surprised everyone by announcing and revealing the look of the console at the 2019 Game Awards in mid-December. The console is called the Xbox Series X, as shown above, and is launching Holiday 2020.

If you missed any details, here’s a high level recap:

From a technical standpoint, this will manifest as world-class visuals in 4K at 60FPS, with possibility of up to 120FPS, including support for Variable Refresh Rate (VRR), and 8K capability. Powered by our custom-designed processor leveraging the latest Zen 2 and next generation RDNA architecture from our partners at AMD, Xbox Series X will deliver hardware accelerated ray tracing and a new level of performance never before seen in a console.  Additionally, our patented Variable Rate Shading (VRS) technology will allow developers to get even more out of the Xbox Series X GPU and our next-generation SSD will virtually eliminate load times and bring players into their gaming worlds faster than ever before.

We are minimizing latency by leveraging technology such as Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM) and giving developers new functionality like Dynamic Latency Input (DLI) to make Xbox Series X the most responsive console ever.  Xbox Series X is also designed for a future in the cloud, with unique capabilities built into the hardware and software to make it as easy as possible to bring great games to both console and elsewhere. Xbox Series X will deliver a level of fidelity and immersion unlike anything that’s been achieved in previous console generations. 

Call of Duty

Modern Warfare Content

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare launched on October 25, 2019 with mixed reaction from the Call of Duty community.

Activision revealed recently that Modern Warfare is the most played Call of Duty game of the last six years, despite a lot of the negativity online about the game. It seems more of the casual players are playing Modern Warfare a lot while some of the long term fans are frustrated with some of the design choices.

2020 is looking strong for the game with more Post Launch content seasons for Modern Warfare with new Battle Passes, maps, and more. With the elimination of the Season Pass in this game, it’s great knowing all players will receive all of the new maps to come for free. We hope to see more Modern Warfare classic makes into this game, like Rust, Terminal, and more.

There’s so many options to pick from – let’s hope Infinity Ward picks the right ones…

Call of Duty: Mobile

Call of Duty: Mobile debuted in 2019 as one of the new ways Activision can bring Call of Duty to more users worldwide. Call of Duty: Mobile has been a hit for Activision, racking in millions in revenue and becoming the most downloaded new mobile game in history.

In 2020, we’re looking forward to seeing how Activision evolves the Call of Duty: Mobile game with more content and new features. They’ve added in the Zombies mode and promised more Zombies maps, new MP maps, and more to come to the game as the year progresses.

We’re also interested to see if they plan to bring any of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare’s maps and content to the mobile game. The mobile game has brought Call of Duty to a new audience – especially in Asia, where in some regions home consoles are not as popular.

Rumor: Modern Warfare Battle Royale

Another thing we’re also hoping and waiting to see pan out in 2020 is this long rumored Battle Royale mode for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare.

Activision has not officially confirmed a Battle Royale exists, but there has been so many rumors about its release.

The rumors state that the Battle Royale is expected to be free to play, standalone from the main Modern Warfare game, and release in “early 2020.” Rumors also state that Raven Software is tasked with leading development of this project. The studio was recently hiring a Community Manager for the studio, in a sign that they are becoming lead in some regard for Call of Duty.

Even beyond the rumors, so many details on this potential BR have been found in the game files for Modern Warfare, including a look at the in-development map for the mode.

Here’s that leaked map, in case you missed it:

Fans have even glitched in-game to be above the entire Battle Royale map inside of Modern Warfare.

With all of the rumors, the numerous in-game references, and more, we’re patiently waiting to see if this ever pans out. And if it does, it would be remarkable. Free to play Call of Duty BR? That would be a major hit for Activision.

But for now, it’s just a rumor.

Speculation: Call of Duty 2020

Every year, a new Call of Duty game releases, and 2020 will of course be no different.

But 2020 will be different in regards to the release cycle. Since 2013, Call of Duty devs have been on a 3 year development cycle rotating between Treyarch, Infinity Ward, and Sledgehammer Games.

But in May of 2019, Kotaku reported that Activision put Treyarch in charge of 2020 Call of Duty game because of bickering between SHG and Raven. Treyarch even slipped up a bit with a job listing earlier saying they’re working on a “next-gen title for 2020.” This makes Sledgehammer and Raven support studios with Treyarch.

2020 will be the first two-year developed Treyarch title since 2012’s Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, which is now a beloved game. It will be interesting to see the direction Treyarch goes with developing a new game in two years, and with that, a new game for new consoles. This will be Treyarch’s first as the leading dev for a new console launch for Call of Duty. 2013 was Infinity Ward with Call of Duty: Ghosts.

The rumors floating around are that the 2020 game from Treyarch encompasses the Cold War era, including the Vietnam War. There is a campaign expected to be part of the game.

With all of this to look forward too, 2020 is looking to be a busy year! As always, stick with CharlieIntel for the latest on all things Call of Duty and new generation consoles.

We hope everyone has a safe and happy new year!

Activision

CoD publisher Activision Blizzard announce all US QA Testers will become full-time employees

Following backlash and developers walkouts, Activision Blizzard have announced that all US QA staff will become full-time employees.

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Activision Blizzard were set to lay off members of Warzone developer Raven Software’s Quality Assurance team, and developers walked out in protest. Now, Activision Blizzard have confirmed that all US QA Testers across the whole company will become full-time employees with better pay and full benefits.

Back in December 2021, Warzone developers Raven Software received news from Activision Blizzard that there would be significant layoffs, particularly in the Quality Assurance department. This surprise announcement received severe backlash, and the QA Testers staged a walkout in protest, days before Warzone’s major Pacific update.

After months of protests and unionizing, Activision Blizzard informed its staff on April 7, 2022, that all of its 1,100 QA testers will receive a full-time contract, an hourly wage increase, and access to full benefits.

Activision blizzard logo

An Activision Blizzard spokesperson announced that they will convert “all US-based temporary and contingent QA team members at Activision Publishing (AP) and Blizzard – nearly 1,100 people in total – to permanent full-time employees starting July 1.”

“Additionally, we are increasing the minimum hourly rate for these team members to $20/hr or more effective April 17,” they continued. “These employees also will be eligible to participate in the company’s bonus plan and will have access to full company benefits.”

They explained that this decision follows the process of “converting temporary and contingent employees, including 500 at AP’s studios, to permanent full-time employees,” which began last year.

In an internal email, Activision Chief Operating Officer Josh Taub explained how their business model has changed to an “always on,” approach, which means they are “further refining how our development teams work together.”

“QA is, and continues to be, critical to our development success. We have amazing QA teams in place that work hard to ensure our players have the best possible gaming experiences – thank you!” he said.

Mike Ybarra, Head of Blizzard, relayed the same message to all of Blizzard’s staff, explaining the remaining US-based QA Testers will be made full-time employees, receive the pay rise, and gain access to increased benefits.

Image Credit: Activision Blizzard

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Activision’s Beenox studio expands to Montreal as Warzone Mobile development ramps up

Activision’s Beenox studio is opening a new location in Montreal as they continue to support the development of Call of Duty titles.

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Beenox studio have aided in the development of Call of Duty mobile projects as well as Warzone content. On March 29, the company announced plans to open a new location in Montreal.

Beenox studio have supported the content releases for several seasons of Call of Duty Warzone in addition to developing new CoD Mobile experiences. It seems they will also be working on Warzone Mobile and as this significant project continues to move forward, Beenox will be supporting from their new office in Montreal, Canada.

Beenox currently operates out of Quebec City, but this expansion to Montreal is the next step in the studio’s continued growth. At this time, Beenox employs over 400 game development professionals and will likely look to add more as their expansion proceeds.

Beenox Building Quebec City

Beenox was established in 2000 and has since been operating out of Quebec City. The company is owned by Activision and as such the two forces collaborate on exciting new Call of Duty projects.

The addition of a Montreal office will be a smooth one for Beenox as they already employ around 50 team members from the city. However, if you have hopes of joining their impressive team of game developers, Beenox have confirmed that they are looking to hire new members as well:

“The team is currently hiring for roles in programming, design and art departments, as well as for the mobile team.” Luckily, candidates aren’t restricted to Montreal inhabitants, “We want our location to attract local and international talent and contribute to the vibrant video game industry in Montreal” said Nour Polloni, Studio Head at Beenox.

Montreal seems like a perfect fit for the studio as the city is known for housing renowned gaming industry giants like Ubisoft, Square Enix, and Bethesda Montreal. Beenox will fit right in with the vibrant game development community in Montreal.

Although the blog post announcing the expansion, does not specifically mention Warzone Mobile, it’s likely that a major focus will shift toward the development of the upcoming game.

Despite being announced on March 10, Warzone Mobile is still very much shrouded in mystery but fans of the franchise are certainly hoping for a late 2022 release date.


For more Call of Duty news, check out how Warzone Mobile leaks hint at a Verdansk return with a twist.

Image Credit: Activision / Beenox

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Will Call of Duty stay on PlayStation after Microsoft’s Activision buyout?

PlayStation fans may have some questions regarding the new Xbox acquisition, including whether Call of Duty will be on the platform.

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After the huge news about Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision, PlayStation players are wondering what will happen with future Call of Duty releases.

Since the news broke about Microsoft’s purchase of Activision, the gaming community has gone crazy worldwide. The deal is arguably the biggest acquisition in gaming history and was even worth more than Disney’s purchase of the Star Wars franchise (Lucasfilm).

The deal has a lot of question marks surrounding it at the moment, but for those PlayStation users who are confused as to what it means for Call of Duty on the platform, here’s all the information you need.

Activision blizzard logo

The deal involves games under Activision and Activision Blizzard, which subsequently means Xbox will own Call of Duty.

This took the community by surprise when it was announced and naturally, a lot of people had questions.

For example, Call of Duty have had a close relationship with PlayStation for some years now, giving them exclusive/early access to content, so what will happen after the deal goes through?

Will Call of Duty still be on PlayStation?

Xbox’s Phil Spencer, the CEO of Microsoft gaming, confirmed in a statement over on Twitter that Call of Duty will remain on PlayStation following the acquisition. Further, the Xbox CEO also confirmed that they would honor all existing agreements that Sony has with Call of Duty.

On February 9 a Microsoft blog post reaffirmed their commitment to providing PlayStation owners with new Call of Duty titles in the years to come. Microsoft confirmed that they have no intention to undermine opportunities for PlayStation users with Xbox exclusive CoD titles.

Microsoft stated that they will continue to develop Call of Duty games for all platforms beyond the existing agreements in place, “we have committed to Sony that we will also make them available on PlayStation beyond the existing agreement and into the future so that Sony fans can continue to enjoy the games they love.”

call of duty modern warfare

For now, the companies will remain independent from each other until 2023.

This means that Call of Duty 2022 will likely retain a lot of the PlayStation exclusivity deals that have been around and PS players won’t have to worry about losing content to Xbox, at least not until these commitments and deals expire.

Once the deal closes and the commitment to existing contracts and agreements like PlayStation’s exclusive Call of Duty content expires, it’s unclear what will happen in terms of exclusive content. However, it is clear that Call of Duty will still be released on PlayStation.

According to Tom Warren, Xbox’s dealings with Bethesda when they purchased the company could be telling of what they will do with Activision. We will likely know much more about exclusivity for other games once the deal has closed, but we could be seeing a lot of Activision games going exclusive.

It wouldn’t have been wise for Microsoft to pull Call of Duty games from PlayStation, as the franchise remains the best-selling game on PlayStation platforms in the U.S. and has been for years, with Vanguard recently topping the charts for 2021.

What can be said, however, is that exclusivity deals may shift from PlayStation to Xbox after the deal is closed. Call of Duty games may even be seen on the Xbox Game Pass on release, but this is all still just speculation.


So, there you have it, Call of Duty will remain on PlayStation platforms but the exclusive content may shift over to Xbox and PC. For more, check out every Warzone weapon ranked.

Image Credits: PlayStation / Xbox / Microsoft / Activision / Retail Tracking Service / The NDP Group

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