Activision won’t reveal the details of Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 until its May 17 event, but it did make some promises about what fans should expect when the military shooter launches in October. The most interesting commitment was the one that the publisher made to PC players, which is an audience that Call of Duty developers have not catered to in the past.
But that may change with the next entry in the series.
“This is a game that will push the envelope with innovation,” Activision Blizzard president and chief operating officer Coddy Johnson said. “You’ll see that in the core game where we have a number of exciting new developments to roll out soon. But also in the game’s appeal on growth platforms like PC where we have invested significant dedicated resources to ensure we can deliver a great PC game to that community.”
Activision Blizzard has awoken to the potential of PC in recent years. Most notably, the publisher worked with its development partner Bungie to bring Destiny 2 to Windows machines through Bungie’s Battle.net platform. That was after the original Destiny never appeared on the PC.
Johnson’s use of the word “dedicated” in his description of how Activision is approaching Call of Duty on the PC is ironic. That echoes the dedicated-server controversy that stirred up the PC audience prior to the release of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II in 2009. PC players wanted dedicated servers, and Activision said no. That led to some PC players promising to boycott Modern Warfare 2 — although that turned into a bit of a joke as Steam revealed that many of those who were upset ended up getting the game anyhow.
Regardless of how the boycott turned out, Modern Warfare 2 set the tone for Call of Duty on PC. Ever since, it has had a distinct console-first vibe. If that’s going to change with Black Ops 4, Activision hasn’t explained how. Maybe we’ll find out May 17.