The failure of Call of Duty: Vanguard sent the developer back to square one.
Advanced Warfare 2 is supposedly in development by Sledgehammer Games. They will release the game a year after Treyarch's 2024 Call of Duty title according to a reputable leaker.
The game is slated to go "back to a more fast-paced Sci-Fi shooter focused back on Advanced Warfare’s frenzied sense of movement." according to Valve.
Initially the plan would have been to continue the story from Call of Duty: Vanguard. Sledgehammer wanted to build on the characters that they had established in the campaign mode of the Vanguard campaign.
The fact that Vanguard, quite simply, fell flat on its face in terms of public and internal reception, meant that Sledgehammer had to completely reset their mentality for development on their next effort.
Sledgehammer may have already hinted at this transition with the introduction of the EX1 to their latest release, Call of Duty: Vanguard.
That weapon was a reworking of the EM1. It was originally included in the first Advanced Warfare game. Studios do enjoy hinting towards future titles with their DLC. Treyarch did this when introducing the PPS-h into Call of Duty Cold War, foreshadowing the World War 2 setting of Vanguard.
The 2025 game could also include a "futuristic twist on the Battle Royale formula" according to Valve. Warzone has been a Call of Duty staple in terms of content and financials since its launch in 2020.
Previous Sci-Fi titles
Call of Duty has a long history with futuristic, science-fiction-style games. Black Ops 2 was the first iteration of the game that moved away from the past and present. It launched the game into the future. Treyarch set that game in 2025, but at the time of the game's release in 2012, that was 13 years away.
Now, Sledgehammer are allegedly developing their newest game to release in 2025. If the game is received anywhere near how well Black Ops 2 was, then Sledgehammer will be onto a winner.
The studio itself has developed previous "jetpack" games. They have history of introducing unique movement mechanics into Call of Duty titles.
Sledgehammer introduced the jetpack movement system into the Call of Duty franchise with their 2014 title Advanced Warfare. It was the first iteration of the series to be natively playable on the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 consoles.
That additional power allowed Sledgehammer to be more adventurous with their style. That freedom returns now that the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 are widely accessible.
The series moved away from the jetpack-style of game following the poor reception to Infinite Warfare, the franchise's last effort in the genre. Even in 2022, people remember that game with poor taste.
This could leave some fans sceptical about the release of a new futuristic game. The fact that it has been five years, and by the time of release, eight years since the last game in that style, the change may well be welcomed with open arms by the community.