Call of Duty, the undisputed behemoth of the gaming world, has recently found itself at the center of a controversy. With its massive global footprint and unparalleled success, the authorities stepped in to prevent a potential monopoly in the gaming industry by thwarting the proposed $69 billion merger between Activision and Microsoft.
However, despite the regulatory hurdles, Call of Duty has continued to dominate the gaming landscape in recent months. Bolstered by the release of Modern Warfare 2 and Warzone 2, the popular shooter franchise has solidified its position as a dominant force in the gaming world.
With all the recent success, one can’t help but wonder what the future holds for this iconic franchise. Only time will tell if Call of Duty can maintain its position at the top of the gaming world or if new challengers will rise to dethrone the king.
Why are so many players quitting Call of Duty?
The decline of Call of Duty has been attributed to several issues, such as unstable servers, rampant cheating, and a lack of engaging Warzone content. Additionally, the rise of other competitive shooters, including XDefiant, has contributed to the franchise’s diminishing player base.
Activision’s financial quarterly report, following the conclusion of the CMA’s investigation into the Microsoft ABK merger, revealed a significant drop in player count. Particularly alarming is the 13 million player loss within the Activision segment, which primarily consists of the Call of Duty franchise. Between December 2022 and March 2023, the player base dwindled from 111 million to 98 million.
While it’s customary for games to experience a gradual decline in player count over time, Call of Duty’s decline has been more drastic due to the lack of engaging seasonal content. As a result, the current player count is only marginally better than the figures recorded for the underperforming Caldera and Vanguard titles in September.
Blizzard Entertainment, the developer of Overwatch 2, is also experiencing a sharp decline in player numbers. The decrease is not limited to the Call of Duty franchise, which has seen a significant drop-off in player base, but is a pervasive issue across ABK.
At its peak, Overwatch 2 had a player count of 45 million following its launch in Q4 of 2022. However, as of March 2023, this number has plummeted to just 27 million, which is even lower than the pre-sequel player count.
The sole thriving division of ABK appears to be King, with a noteworthy increase of 10 million players between December and March, primarily due to the continued success of Candy Crush. While it is unlikely that ABK is on the verge of bankruptcy, the declining player numbers are a source of concern and highlight the urgent need for ABK to innovate and provide more engaging content.
With the collapse of the proposed Microsoft ABK merger, these figures make for uncomfortable reading and further exacerbate the challenging situation facing the company.