A new Call of Duty game is already playable, despite not even having been announced yet, as confirmed by a number of athletes who were invited to go hands-on with the upcoming title in a recent event hosted by Activision. Rumors about the new Call of Duty game have been persistent over the last few weeks, with many suggesting it will be the next iteration of Modern Warfare, although Activision and developer Infinity Ward have been coy about the subject thus far.
Call of Duty is one of the biggest shooting franchises in the world, and has spawned countless iterations of multiplayer combat over the last few decades of its existence. Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 was well-received when it released last year, featuring a battle royale mode called Blackout that supplemented the traditional offerings from the series and thrust it into the modern shooter landscape as well. Despite this, the game failed to crack into the battle royale market in a way that saw it really compete with any of the big names, an issue that might remain part of the focus of the next game in the series as well.
Whatever the unannounced new version of Call of Duty is, it's definitely playable. A number of high-profile American athletes shared images across social media platforms yesterday. Riley Ridley, Tajae Sharpe, and N'Keal Harry each posted pictures of themselves while in attendance of what looked to be an official event hosted by Activision to promote the next Call of Duty, and the athletes confirmed they were able to go hands-on with the game, which means it is far enough along in development to be played by interested parties.
It's about that time for a new Call of Duty announcement. Usually, the yearly iteration of the franchise is announced by Activision in May, so there's a good chance this social media buzz is a precursor to a reveal that could be made very early next month. Information on the new Call of Duty is scarce, but Activision has tagged Call of Duty: Ghosts developer Infinity Ward to develop this year's effort, a studio that created both Infinite Warfare and the Modern Warfare sub-series. If the rumors about a new Modern Warfare being the release this year are true, it would make sense to have Infinity Ward helming its development.
Activision has also confirmed that the new 2019 Call of Duty will feature a single-player campaign, which makes it an exciting new addition to the franchise after it threatened to do away with that content after Black Ops 4 didn't include it. As always, it will be interesting to see what sort of angle Activision wants to take with the series: will we see a heavier lean into battle royale elements, or a scale back towards the multiplayer elements that brought Call of Duty to the top of the shooter mountain in the first place? Time will tell, but judging from the social media campaign that's just begun, fans won't have to wait long to find out.