Call of Duty has lost 50 million players in a year

call of duty warzone mayhem
(Image credit: Activision)

Call of Duty is bleeding players. According to Activision's first 2022 investor report published today, users across Call of Duty games plummeted throughout 2021 and into 2022. The series, which in 2021 reached 150 million monthly active users thanks to Call of Duty: Warzone's immense popularity, has steadily lost 50 million players in a year.

Now, Call of Duty has around 100 million players. That's still a whole lot of people, but it's the steepest decline the series has seen since Warzone released in 2020. Activision is attributing the sharp fall to disappointing sales for Call of Duty: Vanguard and "lower engagement" in Warzone. Activision has mentioned Vanguard's lower-than-usual sales before, but considering Warzone is free-to-play and likely represents the biggest chunk of Call of Duty players, it probably deserves a lot of the blame.

call of duty monthly active users 2022

Call of Duty's year-over-year player decline charted against Activision's other divisions. (Image credit: Activision)

Warzone's decline won't come as a surprise to the average Warzone player. The 50 million drop reflects what has been a disappointing year of updates to the game, including boring seasonal additions, disruptive balancing problems, and a new map that launched with game-breaking bugs that wouldn't be fixed for weeks.

Activision increasingly seems to be banking its hopes on Infinity Ward, the fan-favorite Call of Duty developer. The studio is working on a sequel to Modern Warfare 2019 coming later this year as well as spearheading a sequel to Warzone made from the "ground-up" on the engine powering the next Modern Warfare.

Warzone 2, or whatever Activision decides to call it, will be unveiled sometime this year and release in 2023.

Morgan Park
Staff Writer

Morgan has been writing for PC Gamer since 2018, first as a freelancer and currently as a staff writer. He has also appeared on Polygon, Kotaku, Fanbyte, and PCGamesN. Before freelancing, he spent most of high school and all of college writing at small gaming sites that didn't pay him. He's very happy to have a real job now. Morgan is a beat writer following the latest and greatest shooters and the communities that play them. He also writes general news, reviews, features, the occasional guide, and bad jokes in Slack. Twist his arm, and he'll even write about a boring strategy game. Please don't, though.