Is Call of Duty: Warzone 2 a real thing? The sequel to Activision's free-to-play Call of Duty spin-off is still a rumor, but its existence wouldn't be a major surprise. Call of Duty is no stranger to sequels, after all, and Warzone is the biggest game in the series by a lot. If Activision is planning a new fresh start for Warzone with current-gen hardware in mind, now would be a good time.
What does a sequel to a live service game that's already received years of updates and hundreds of cosmetics look like? Will it still be mainly a battle royale game? Will all my cool Warzone gun skins still be there in Warzone 2? Early rumors suggest not, which may be a problem for Warzone's millions of existing players.
It could be a long time before we hear anything official about Warzone 2 if it does in fact exist—as long as two years. Read on to see the latest Warzone 2 rumors making the rounds and the biggest questions yet to be answered.
Is Call of Duty: Warzone 2 real?
Probably. Activision has said nothing official about a sequel to Warzone, but the source behind the Warzone 2 rumor is solid (even if the final product does not end up being titled "Warzone 2"). Bloomberg writer Jason Schreier, who has accurately reported on unannounced games and delays for years, included a Warzone sequel (opens in new tab) in a list of upcoming Call of Duty games that will supposedly release on PlayStation despite Microsoft's acquisition of Activision.
"The deal also includes a planned new iteration of Call of Duty Warzone, the lucrative free-to-play game that was released in 2020," Screier said. In an accompanying tweet (opens in new tab), he calls this game Warzone 2.
The report has also been corroborated (opens in new tab) by Tom Henderson, a freelance writer who has leaked accurate information about Call of Duty in the past. The Warzone sequel would apparently be a "completely new game for the better hardware," referring to the game not releasing for PS4 or Xbox One.
NEW: Activision is committed to releasing at least the next three Call of Duty games on PlayStation even after the Xbox acquisition, according to people familiar with the deal. That's COD2022, COD2023, and Warzone 2 (in 2023). After that, it's hazier https://t.co/OpWE7Tk9KVJanuary 25, 2022
When will Call of Duty: Warzone 2 release?
According to Bloomberg, Warzone 2 is scheduled for 2023. Interestingly, Schreier lists the game next to another game called "COD2023", suggesting Activision will continue to make standalone CoD games separately from Warzone.
There are already strong rumors that 2022's CoD game will be a sequel to 2019's Modern Warfare reboot, the game that the current Warzone was built on. As a result, Warzone launched with a modern setting and identical gameplay to Modern Warfare 2019. It's unclear if Warzone 2 would be based on whatever 2023's main CoD game will be or its own thing.
Will progression and cosmetics carry over to Warzone 2?
It's way too early to speak with confidence on a detail like this, but one person is convinced that Warzone 2 will be a clean break from the existing Warzone game. According to Tom Henderson, Warzone 2 will not have "past weapon integrations" with Warzone, which would necessarily throw out most of the existing progression and cosmetics players already have.
If true, this fresh start would be a stark contrast to an upcoming sequel to another Activision-Blizzard shooter. Blizzard has been clear from the beginning that Overwatch 2 (opens in new tab) players will still have all of their Overwatch 1 cosmetics when they switch to the new game.
Warzone 2 is literally that... Warzone 2.Current gen and PC only... No past weapon integrations etc. A completely new game for the better hardware.January 25, 2022
Who is making Call of Duty: Warzone 2?
The obvious candidate to be making Warzone 2 is the lead studio on the current Warzone, Raven Software, but I doubt it's that simple. It's possible that a second group in Raven is leading the charge on a new Warzone, but it's also reasonable to think the studio already has its hands full with ongoing Warzone updates (like the new Caldera map).
Another natural choice is Infinity Ward, the lead studio on Warzone until Raven fully took the reins in 2020. This theory doesn't line up with the strong rumor that Infinity Ward is putting out a Modern Warfare sequel this year. There are also a lot of Call of Duty support studios that could be co-developing, like High Moon or Vicarious Visions.
What does the Microsoft acquisition mean for Call of Duty: Warzone 2?
Right now, probably not a lot. Microsoft and Activision have said that the two companies will more or less operate as two separate entities until the acquisition deal officially closes, which could take a year or more.
The main subject of the Bloomberg report claims that Activision will honor its plan to release CoD on PlayStation, so there's plenty of reason to believe the next few years of Call of Duty will happen as they were originally planned before Microsoft bought it. Though Activision and Microsoft's new relationship may start to materialize in smaller ways—there's a good chance new Call of Duty games will launch on Game Pass going forward.