Call of Duty 2023 is coming, but considering all of the leaks, details, rumors, and everything else, it's been a confusing media cycle, and many aren't sure what's coming to Call of Duty next year. There isn't an official 100% confirmed guarantee just yet, but we do know a lot by now. So, in this article, we'll explain how Call of Duty 2023 is coming and why it's not what you think.
The CoD 2023 Story So Far
For years, it's been reported that a project named 'DMZ' has been in development. Reportedly, this is Call of Duty's take on an Escape from Tarkov experience. It's also been announced that Call of Duty will be taking a break in 2023, skipping a full, new premium game and delaying Treyarch's next mainline CoD into 2024.
However, Activision has remained clear that something is coming in 2023. Outside of Modern Warfare 2 and Warzone 2 coming in 2022 and the next full CoD coming in 2024, and on top of Warzone Mobile, Activision has remained insistent that something else is coming in 2023. Treyarch has, unsurprisingly, been attached to this 2023 project, and it's been rumored to be a free-to-play game.
Initially, DMZ was rumored to just replace Spec Ops, which was not liked in Modern Warfare (2019), so this made sense to a lot of gamers. Later on, though, it was rumored that DMZ would be a free-to-play portion of Modern Warfare 2 like Warzone was to Modern Warfare (2019), possibly launching after Modern Warfare 2 did. If this was the case, it was theorized that Treyarch would be helping with DMZ and that DMZ would be the free-to-play game Treyarch was rumored to be working on for 2023.
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However, recently, Activision has referred to a 'premium' experience coming in 2023, either suggesting that DMZ will be separate from Modern Warfare 2 and cost money; that Treyarch's free-to-play 2023 project wasn't DMZ and is now premium; or that some other paid Call of Duty content is coming in 2023.
What's Going On With DMZ?
The big question is DMZ. If DMZ isn't just going to be a part of Modern Warfare 2 and will, instead, release as either a premium game or free-to-play experience, then, that's almost certainly what CoD 2023 is going to be. DMZ is an inevitability, after years of leaks, so the only question there is now is how is it going to come.
Releasing DMZ as a paid, separate game is rather unlikely, though. This mode has been in development for years as, distinctly, a part of Modern Warfare, and considering the modern reputation of Spec Ops, it's pretty reasonable to expect that gamers would be extremely unhappy if Modern Warfare 2's major third mode got cut and sold for an extra fee.
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DMZ going to free-to-play is more likely, sure, but there are also distinct reasons why Activision wouldn't want to make DMZ free-to-play, too. First, extraction-style games are much more niche than battle royale, so how much money Activision could make off DMZ microtransactions is much more limited than Warzone.
On top of that, if Warzone 2 that has Modern Warfare 2's mechanics and engine is free-to-play and the hot new mode DMZ is free-to-play also with Modern Warfare 2's mechanics and engine, why even bother buying Modern Warfare 2? Instead, Activision could keep the exciting new stuff as part of Modern Warfare 2 and keep that as an incentive to pick up the game.
Of course, it's unclear what'll happen right now, but the most likely outcome is probably that DMZ will just be a part of Modern Warfare 2. But if that's the case, what's Call of Duty 2023 all about?
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Call of Duty 2023 Explained
Infinity Ward is busy with DMZ, Warzone, and Modern Warfare 2, while Treyarch has already been rumored to be working on a 2023 project, so it stands to reason Treyarch will have a major role in a 2023 release, especially when you consider that the company's next big game isn't coming until 2024.
And for Treyarch, a standalone game that makes the most sense as a premium release is inevitably going to be a Zombies game. Zombies fans are a subset of CoD players, so there's probably little to be gained by going free-to-play when the game won't have as nearly as massive an appeal as something like Warzone.
Beyond that, though, it would make perfect sense for the Zombies game to be a spin-off of the open-world Zombies format introduced in Cold War. It's got legs to be its own deep, complicated game that brings lots of Zombies content to fans, but it also reserves the classic round-based Zombies experience for mainline Call of Duty games.
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This way, Zombies fans have a game to play with a different feel and vibe than traditional Zombies that can get updated throughout the year, even on CoD off-months, while Zombies fans will still also feel like the Zombies mode in a new CoD game will be worth the price, since it'll offer up that classic round-based take on Zombies all Zombies fans love.
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