A "Call of Duty" release each fall is guaranteed these days, but publisher Activision still likes to generate some cryptic hype during the early summer months. This year is no different, as the "Call of Duty" homepage features a distorted image of what appears to be a soldier, as well as a countdown timer that points to a full May 4 reveal for the latest game in the series.
Visiting CallofDuty.com automatically takes you to a page titled "Get Ready for a New Era of Call of Duty," indicating that Activision may be looking to breathe some fresh air into its popular but aging moneymaker. Aside from the blurred image on the official site, we've only seen one close-up of what a soldier's face will look like in-game, as well as a full screenshot courtesy of Game Informer, which will highlight the upcoming title for its June issue.
The next installment in Activision's popular military shooter will be developed by Sledgehammer Games, the team that co-created 2011's "Modern Warfare 3" alongside Infinity Ward. This is Sledgehammer's first time taking full rein of a "Call of Duty" game, as Activision plans to rotate the series' development cycle between Sledgehammer, Infinity Ward, and "Black Ops" creator Treyarch.
The most recent release in the franchise is Infinity Ward's "Call of Duty: Ghosts," which just received a Snoop Dogg voice pack among other DLC. This could be the year Activision makes the series exclusive to new-generation consoles such as the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, but given the game's popularity on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, it will likely be at least another year until the old systems get shut out.
We don't yet know the title of the latest "Call of Duty" game, though that will surely be revealed this Sunday. As pointed out by Polygon, the game's May 4 reveal date lines up with several televised games in the NBA playoffs, an event that Activision typically uses to advertise its latest first-person shooter. Stay tuned for details on the full announcement when it hits this weekend.