Each November for over a decade now, publisher Activision has dropped a new Call of Duty game on the market. So it’s not really a matter of if the company will announce a new Call of Duty for 2018—it’s a matter of when. We still don’t know when an announcement will arrive, but we might know what the announcement will be. Eurogamer reports that this year’s installment will be Call of Duty: Black Ops 4.
The Call of Duty series is basically a money-printing machine at this point. For most of the series’ life, each new installment has been the best-selling game the year it came out. To keep the cash rolling in, Activision has assembled three development studios to work on the series: Treyarch, Infinity Ward, and Sledgehammer Games. The teams take turns releasing games, which gives each team three years to finish a game.
Treyarch released Black Ops III in 2015, followed by Infinity Ward’s Infinite Warfare in 2016 and Sledgehammer’s WWII last year. That means Treyarch is at bat again this year. Treyarch has been making games set in the Black Ops universe since 2006, so Black Ops 4 is an easy bet.
Marcus Sellars, a self-proclaimed “industry insider,” said in a tweet that Black Ops 4 will also be ported to Nintendo Switch. He added that the Switch version will come complete with HD rumble and motion controls. Eurogamer says it’s still working to confirm a Switch version.
If Black Ops 4 is coming this year, the big question is what year the game might take place. The Black Ops storyline started with Call of Duty: World at War, which takes place during World War II. Subsequent installments pushed further ahead in time, with Black Ops 3 being set in 2065. That would seem to indicate Black Ops 4 could take place even later. But the ultra-futuristic Infinite Warfare saw relatively low sales, so Black Ops 4 may pull back from similar sci-fi trappings.
Activision typically announces new Call of Duty games in April, so we probably have a few months before we’ll get all the answers.