Like every year, a new episode of the shooter awaits fans at the end of the year. However, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II promises to be a key installment for the franchise.
It’s the video game industry’s end-of-year ritual. Since the release of call of duty 2 in 2005, Activision markets a new opus of its shooting game license every year between mid-October and mid-November. The 19th episode of the saga is no exception to the rule. However, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II will display new challenges, particularly in the context of the takeover of Activision Blizzard by Microsoft.
• When can the game be played?
The official release date of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II is scheduled for October 28. Nevertheless, the game publisher Activision and the development studio Infinity Ward have revealed the dates of their traditional “open beta”. This is to give players access to an advanced version of the game, but not final. The objective is to know the first impressions, while collecting data. This phase allows developers to make final adjustments before a title is released.
• When will the open beta of the game be available?
As for several years, owners of a PlayStation will once again be advantaged. They will have access to two test phases. The first is reserved for them from September 18 to 20, with two additional days (September 16 and 17) for people who have pre-ordered the game.
The second phase of testing Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II encompasses all players, regardless of medium. It will take place from September 24 to 26. It should be noted that again, some will benefit from two additional days (September 22 and 23): those who pre-ordered the game on Xbox or PC and those with a PlayStation.
• What will this trial version give access to?
Activision has indicated that the open beta of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II will go beyond the classic fighting format of the franchise, pitting two teams of six players against each other. The publisher promises several modes and several game maps, of different sizes.
One of the maps accessible from the start of this test phase has already been unveiled. This is Marina Bay Grand Prix. As its name suggests, it will place the fighters on a Formula 1 circuit, that of Singapore.
• Why does this new opus display new challenges?
If the schedule seems identical to previous years, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II promises to be a bigger episode than usual. During the presentation of its second quarter financial results, Activision Blizzard posted heavy financial losses. With 1.6 billion dollars in revenue (about 1.57 billion euros), turnover fell by 28% compared to the same period last year.
The publisher also regretted a drop in the number of players on the franchise call of duty. As of March 2021, the company had 150 million monthly users. This figure fell to 100 million in March 2022. The decrease continued in June with only 94 million monthly active players. The new opus must therefore make you want to play the shooting game license again.
• Why are Sony and Microsoft torn around the concept of “essential gaming”?
As part of its takeover of Activision Blizzard, Microsoft – which is also the maker of the Xbox – is to become the new owner of the franchise call of duty. If the group indicated shortly after the announcement that it wanted to continue selling shooters on PlayStation, Sony – maker of the PlayStation – is worried. The Japanese manufacturer thus wishes to put pressure on the regulatory authorities, responsible for validating the takeover of Activision Blizzard by Microsoft.
In early August, Sony clarified that this shooter license was “essential” and likely to influence the purchase of a console, reports Kotaku. Until now, players with a PlayStation benefit from a partnership between Sony and Activision. But in the run-up to the takeover, Sony fears that its community will now be penalized: the worst-case scenario being that Call of Duty becomes an exclusive on Xbox or PC.
A track that is not on the agenda, but which has already materialized on previous takeovers of Microsoft. Thus, Bethesda’s next title, Starfield, will not be released on PlayStation. Microsoft therefore tries to minimize the importance of Call of Duty games, explaining that they are not “essential”.
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