It still feels like it's more fiction than fact, but Call of Duty's 2021 release is coming and we seem to have something that feels more legitimate to talk about now. Here's the latest on COD 2021 - now being talked about as Call of Duty Vanguard - and when we'll learn more.
UPDATE - Release Date leaked & Vanguard confirmed
We're not about to start posting leaked images, so apologies in advance. However, a lot of data mining has been happening since the start of Black Ops Cold War Season 5 and it looks like we now know when the next Call of Duty title will be released and what it will be called.
Vanguard looks like it's going to be the confirmed title of COD 2021 and the full release could be November 5th. This is only a week before Black Ops Cold War was released in 2020, so it's not the worst date to bet on.
We also managed to see some images about pre-order bonuses for Call of Duty Vanguard. If you get the pricer versions of the game, you should be looking at the following:
- ??? - Lucas Operator Skin
- ??? - Polina Operator Skin
- ??? - Wade Operator Skin
- Breacher - Assault Rifle Tracer Fire Weapon Blueprint (STG-44?)
- Snowstorm - Marksman Rifle Tracer Fire Weapon Blueprint (???)
- Thunderhead - Submachine Gun Tracer Fire Weapon Blueprint (Waffe 28?)
There's also going to be a cross-gen bundle similar to how Black Ops Cold War was released. Expect all of this to be revealed officially in the coming weeks.
COD 2021 Working Title Revealed?
Tom Henderson, a notorious industry insider who always seems to work his way into a position where he has leaks and rumours to pedal, has just revealed the fact that Battle Net has updated its COD 2021 listing.
According to Henderson, Call of Duty 2021 could be called "Call of Duty: Slipstream." Henderson has stated that this is a working/internal title at the moment, but the logo does help reinforce the rumours that we're getting a game with a Second World War theme.
The use of the word "slipstream" does raise some questions though, given its connotations and use with the Air Force and aerial combat. Call of Duty: WW2 was much more focused on a soldier's perspective... Could we see Call of Duty 2021 take us to the skies more? We doubt that the game will be over-balanced with more aerial combat than ground combat, but we're seeing Call of Duty experiment with its campaign gameplay more and more in recent years.
Battle Net, as a service, is used by Activision and Blizzard. It's a pretty great source to have... A lot of what Tom Henderson says seems unsupported, whether it's just him keeping his sources to himself or not. However, this time around, it looks like he has evidence.
New Warzone Rumours Seem To Confirm Pacific Theatre Setting
A recent report from Charlie INTEL has suggested that Call of Duty's next outing is going to be a WW2, Pacific Theatre-based title and it looks like this is all but officially confirmed.
According to VGC, the next significant Warzone update is going to ditch Verdansk for the Pacific Islands and we're going to be getting a giant WW2-era map to compliment the release of Call of Duty: Vanguard.
This update would also introduce new vehicles to facilitate movement around the larger map and technological changes to bring Warzone fully onto the same engine as the mainstream Call of Duty title at the time. We know Call of Duty: Vanguard is reportedly being built on Modern Warfare's engine, but this is going to raise the game to a new level.
We still don't know exactly when it will come out, but if they time a Warzone map change with a season change... We could be looking at the first week of December.
Call of Duty titles always find themselves releasing between October and November and we're not expecting COD 2021, Vanguard, to be any different. The recent Activision Q4 investor call has offered us this small statement which, while vague, does confirm that it's on the way.
" In particular, we are very excited for this year’s premium Call of Duty release. Development is being led by Sledgehammer Games and the game is looking great and on track for its fall release..."
Looking back, we can see that most of these titles have been released in the first two weeks of November so this could mean we're looking at either November 5th or November 12th.
Of course, this is all speculation, but it's promising news from Activision Blizzard's COO nonetheless.
When Is COD 2021 Set?
According to the most recently reported rumors, Call of Duty 2021, or Call of Duty Vanguard, will be set in the Pacific theatre in World War II.
This remains unconfirmed, however, so it's good to take this with a grain of salt just in case.
These rumors aren't alone, however, as many others are suggesting similar conclusions, including prominent news outlet Eurogamer has corroborated reports that a WWII-themed Call of Duty is on the way.
New Warzone Map
According to the most recent set of rumors, Call of Duty 2021, or Vanguard, will also include the biggest Warzone map yet on its launch.
This remains unconfirmed, but a Pacific setting is the supposed next step for the series, and could carry over into the rumored Warzone map.
Built For Next-Gen
Activision's Q4 investor call offered some important reassurance for Call of Duty fans. COD 2021 is coming this year, despite reports it wouldn't be ready, and it is going to be developed by Sledgehammer Games.
We don't know whether it's a second WWII title, but Sledgehammer Games did tweet this after the news got out:
What we do know so far is that it's being specifically built for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S.
" This is a built for next-generation experience with stunning visuals across campaign, multiplayer and co-operative modes of play..."
This isn't to say there won't be a release on Xbox One and PS4 platforms, but the game should be more than just shinier graphics on the newer consoles.