Given how much money the Call of Duty franchise has been making Activision over the last year, the company arguably doesn't even need to release a new entry anytime soon. However, Activision has already confirmed that it intends on releasing another Call of Duty title by the end of this year, though it didn't share any other details. Since then, there have been several rumors and supposed leaks about the game's premise, but now Call of Duty fan site ModernWarzone claims to have accurate information about the setting and title.
According to its sources, the new Call of Duty is being developed by Sledgehammer Games (something ModernWarzone also claimed last month) and is currently under the working title of WWII: Vanguard. While this means that the name could very well change by the time of release, it does confirm the also previously rumored World War 2 setting, assuming the information is to be believed.
ModernWarzone insists that the World War 2 setting is true, but it also acknowledges that it had previously reported that parts of the game will take place in the 1950s, leading to theories that it would actually focus on the Korean War instead. ModernWarzone believes that its original source was accurate, which could suggest that there will be cutscenes covering events after World War 2 ended or the game will depict an alternate timeline where the war lasted past 1945 and into the 1950s.
Some of these details seem like safe bets and are likely to be accurate. Call of Duty already has experience covering World War 2 thanks to previous titles, namely 2008's Call of Duty: World at War and 2017's Call of Duty: WWII. That second one was even developed by Sledgehammer Games so it would make sense for Activision to put that studio in charge of another World War 2 game.
Plus, Sledgehammer hasn't been in charge of development since that 2017 title, only assisting with development on the 2019 Modern Warfare and Black Ops Cold War, which were headed by Infinity Ward and Treyarch respectively. Since Activision is known to cycle through its studios when it comes to making Call of Duty games and Infinity Ward, Treyarch, and Raven Software are all busy with maintaining Warzone and Cold War, surely Sledgehammer must be in charge of the 2021 game. ModernWarzone also mentions that the new game will be integrated into Warzone as well, with its weapons and assets ported to it alongside a new map but that's practically guaranteed at this point.
Obviously none of this can be taken at face value until there is an official announcement from Activision. Fortunately, fans may already know when to expect such an announcement. With the game expected to release in 2021, there's only so much for Activision to remain quiet and, in the past, it's usually made Call of Duty reveals during the summer.
Prior to 2020, the Call of Duty franchise had an obvious format for its reveals. However, Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War changed that, straying from the series’ path in a noticeable way. Though the effects of COVID-19 were clearly felt during the game’s development, as it certainly may have played a role in the change, there are likely other reasons for the late release. As such, the most recent Call of Duty game’s release format might just be the new standard as opposed to a one-off change.