For better or for worse, Call of Duty is a series that never seems to go away with over a dozen major releases so far. Every year there is a new and arguably improved release. The franchise is on a "three-year, three-studio" development cycle meaning three different game studios produce a new game every three years. Black Ops III was built by Treyarch and Infinite Warfare was created by Infinity Ward, so the 2017 game will be coming back to Sledgehammer Games.
We're honored & excited to bring this year's @Callofduty to fans everywhere! It's our biggest achievement as game makers. Much more to come.--- Sledgehammer Games (@SHGames) February 9, 2017
The game was officially confirmed today by Activision in an earnings call. Along with the announcement, Activision Blizzard also reported positive financial results. The video game company's revenue was $6.61 billion for 2016, up from $4.66 billion the year prior. A large chunk of that revenue or about $4.87 billion came from digital sales as expected.
There isn't much to know about the game itself yet, but Activision did say the game is returning to the franchise's roots. Most recent CoD releases have taken place in the future or modern times, while the older games featured traditional combat. Activision believes this move will better resonate with gamers; something Infinite Warfare just couldn't do.
Not for nothing Infinite Warfare's reveal trailer ranks as the #2 most disliked video in YouTube history.
Nevertheless the series as a whole is still doing very well. Battlefield was king this past release, but there is still a large demand for new Call of Duty titles every year. Activision doesn't necessarily regret doing the more modern and futuristic style games, but they are hoping a back-to-basics game will bring great sales again.