CoD 2021 leaks: Release date, next Call of Duty developer, rumors - Dexerto
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CoD 2021 leaks: Release date, next Call of Duty developer, rumors

Published: 15/Jan/2021 17:11 Updated: 17/Feb/2021 15:14

by James Busby

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From credible rumors to speculated release dates, find out everything you need to know about Call of Duty 2021. 

The ever-popular Call of Duty series has remained a staple pick for those looking to show off their quick reflexes and eagle-eyed aim. Whether you enjoy futuristic firefights or prefer the boots on the ground approach, Call of Duty has delivered numerous experiences over the years.

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From the brutal battlefields of WWII to present-day conflicts, the series has continually visited and revisited numerous theatres of war with each new entry. 

With the next title on the horizon, let’s run through everything we know about CoD 2021. 

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CoD 2021 release date

Black Ops Cold War screenshot
Activision / Treyarch
Black Ops Cold War is the latest title to be released.

As of writing, we don’t have an official release date set for Call of Duty 2021. However, that hasn’t stopped us from making an educated guess. By following similar CoD release title trends, it’s fair to speculate that the game will release in early to mid-November. 

After all, the previous Call of Duty games all had November releases. Here’s a brief timeline of previous CoD release dates: 

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  • Call of Duty 3: November 7, 2006
  • Modern Warfare: November 7, 2007
  • World at War: November 11, 2008
  • Modern Warfare 2: November 10, 2009
  • Black Ops: November 9, 2010
  • Modern Warfare 3: November 8, 2011
  • Black Ops II: November 13, 2012
  • Ghosts: November 5, 2013
  • Advanced Warfare: November 4, 2014
  • Black Ops III: November 6, 2015
  • Infinite Warfare: November 4, 2016
  • WWII: November 3, 2017
  • Black Ops 4: October 12, 2018
  • Black Ops Cold War: November 13, 2020

While Infinity Ward changed things up with the release of Modern Warfare on October 25, 2019, it is more than likely that CoD 2021 will keep to the usual November schedule. 

Call of Duty 2021 developer

Call of Duty WWII screenshot
Activision / Sledgehammer Games
Sledgehammer’s last release was Call of Duty WWII.

So, now that we have an idea of when Call of Duty 2021 could release, who exactly is in charge of developing it? Well, if we take a look at the development cycle of the franchise, we might just get a few clues. 

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Firstly, the three main studios developing the core Call of Duty games are Infinity Ward, Treyarch, and Sledgehammer Games. Raven Software could be given the reigns, but this is unlikely, especially given they mainly focus on assisting each studio. 

The last four CoD games were developed by the following studios: 

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  • Black Ops 4: Treyarch (2018)
  • Modern Warfare: Infinity Ward (2019)
  • Warzone: Infinity Ward / Raven Software (2020)
  • Black Ops Cold War: Treyarch / Raven Software (2020)

Judging from the timeline above, the most obvious candidate for Call of Duty 2021 is Sledgehammer Games. The developers behind CoD WWII have been missing from action since 2017, which would indicate that they have been busy working on the next big release. 

Sledgehammer Games and Raven Software were tasked with releasing the next CoD game in 2020, but disagreements between the two arose, leading Treyarch to take the lead role. Sledgehammer’s title was then developed into Black Ops Cold War.

Quite how much of the project was reworked into Cold War remains to be seen, but it does seem likely that Sledgehammer Games would use this time to begin working on another title. If this wasn’t evident enough, last year, Sledgehammer reportedly hired 150 new staff and stated that they were actively working on multiple projects

Combine this with the fact that Infinity Ward has only just wrapped up development on Modern Warfare and Treyarch is still busy working on content for Black Ops Cold War – and you have a pretty strong case. 

Call of Duty 2021 rumors

Advanced Warfare screenshot
Activision / Sledgehammer Games
Could a prequel to Advanced Warfare be in the works?

There have been a lot of rumors surrounding Call of Duty 2021, with many fans speculating that the Sledgehammer could be making another entry in the Advanced Warfare series. However, renowned Call of Duty leaker, Tom Henderson believes that if that is the case, the game will be a prequel. 

“Warzone is going to have a Sledgehammer Games integration,” says Henderson. The whole purpose of Warzone is to convert free-to-play players into paid players by purchasing whichever title is integrated at the time. I just can’t see an EM1 laser rifle being in Warzone, it just doesn’t make sense to me.”

This would be a jarring experience, particularly given Warzone’s arsenal currently utilizes real-world weaponry. Having highly futuristic guns could also upset the current balance of the game as well, an area Activision is constantly aiming to control. 

“Maybe we could see a Call of Duty WWII title, possibly like WWII but maybe a prequel or sequel. It would make a lot more sense for the weapons to be integrated into Warzone. It could be a modern or even a future title, but not set too far into the future where it wouldn’t make sense for the Warzone integration.”

While Henderson’s leaks have been correct in the past, these are just rumors and should be treated lightly. 

Call of Duty 2021 leaks

As for Call of Duty 2021 leaks, there has been no footage, screenshots, or box art showcasing the new title. Of course, you can expect to see the usual photoshopped images, blurry box art, fake emails, and rickrolls that come with every new Call of Duty release. 

Once we have any credible information, we’ll update this section further. 

Make sure you bookmark this feature and check out our Call of Duty hub for all the latest CoD 2021 news. 

CoD 2021 WWII leaks

A new leak recently arose that seems to imply a WWII setting for the upcoming title.

Known leaker Victor_Z posted tweets that implied Sledgehammer Games as the next developer, alongside the WWII art.

A commenter asked for clarification as to whether or not they meant it would be a WWIII title, but they replied, “WWII.”

While this is just a leak, Victor_Z does have some credibility. They previously stated that the Black Ops Cold War reveal trailer that showcased in August 2020 would include a 10 second MP preview – and lo and behold, it did.