Call of Duty: Vanguard is on the horizon, and here’s everything we know about the upcoming game’s release date, who’s developing it, leaks, and its Warzone integration.
As always, a new year means a new Call of Duty game. Activision has kept their cards close to their chest with CoD 2021, but naturally, a ton of information has started to leak, including its setting, Zombies, and its Warzone integration.
With nothing being officially revealed yet, Vanguard’s release is as mysterious as it is exciting, but these leaks have given us a strong indication of what to expect from Call of Duty 2021.
Here’s everything we know about the upcoming Call of Duty: Vanguard.
Call of Duty: Vanguard title & teaser
The Warzone and Black Ops Cold War Season 5 key art has Japanese text in the background. So, one CoD fan translated one of the lines and it reads: “Vanguard is coming.”
Now, with the Cold War Season 5 update live, dataminers have discovered Call of Duty: Vanguard artwork and its Special Edition in the game files.
This leaked artwork confirms both the title, Vanguard, and its World War 2 setting.
CoD: Vanguard release date
Call of Duty games traditionally release in November. However, Modern Warfare and Black Ops 4 were both released in October. Ideally, Call of Duty targets the first Friday of every November, as we saw for CoD: WW2 and Infinite Warfare releases.
The Friday tradition started with Black Ops 3, where games before saw releases on the first Tuesday of November. Below you can read some of the recent Call of Duty releases.
- Advanced Warfare: November 4, 2014
- Black Ops III: November 6, 2015
- Infinite Warfare: November 4, 2016
- WWII: November 3, 2017
- Black Ops 4: October 12, 2018
- Modern Warfare: October 25, 2019
- Black Ops Cold War: November 13, 2020
We could expect this year’s Call of Duty game to release on either the first or second Friday of November 2021. That gives us a possible date of either the 5th or 12th of November.
What we do know for sure is that Call of Duty Vanguard will release in 2021. During the company’s Investor Call on August 3, Activision Blizzard executives confirmed that the latest ‘premium’ entry to the Call of Duty franchise will launch later this year.
Activision Blizzard President & COO said that “our teams remain hard at work on the next new premium Call of Duty release, planned for the fourth quarter.”
CoD: Vanguard setting and time period
One rumor suggests that the 2021 game will be set during the World War II era again, and Eurogamer reported that this will be true.
A June 9, 2021 report by Video Games Chronicle stated that the setting for Call of Duty: Vanguard will be in both the Pacific and European Theaters of World War II. The reported plot will focus on the birth of modern allied special forces and will feature Campaign, Zombies, and Multiplayer modes.
Now, the datamined artwork shows a clear WW2 setting. The main protagonists are wearing WW2 getup and the leaked cross-gen bundle Blueprints are for Second World War weapons.
Which studio is developing CoD: Vanguard ?
In Activision’s Q4 earnings call, they confirmed that a new Call of Duty game would be releasing in 2021, with Sledgehammer Games in charge of development.
Sledgehammer released Call of Duty: WWII in 2017 but faced difficulties after their co-founders and many team members left. However, Sledgehammer hired over 150 new people to the studio in 2020 and recently opened a new studio in Toronto.
Activision said that “Development is being led by Sledgehammer Games, and the game is looking great and on track for its fall release.”
There is another widely believed rumor that Treyarch will be developing the Zombies alongside Sledgehammer. The common theory is that Cold War’s Dark Aether story will continue into Vanguard, but there’s no official confirmation on this yet.
Call of Duty: Vanguard reveal date
There is still no confirmation on when Vanguard will be officially revealed, however, by looking at Black Ops Cold War’s announcement, we can hazard a guess. For the first time in Call of Duty history, the next game was revealed in an in-game live event.
All signs point towards Vanguard being revealed inside Warzone. On June 9, 2021, VGC also reported on the idea that Call of Duty: Vanguard will be revealed through an in-game event in Warzone and that it will have a November release date.
July 16, 2021, saw reputable leaker Tom Henderson report for DualSHOCKERS that the reveal for Call of Duty: Vanguard may be taking place between August 18-25 via a Warzone live event in the same way that Black Ops Cold War was revealed.
Call of Duty: Vanguard Ultimate Edition leaked
Ahead of Vanguard’s official reveal, dataminers discovered artwork and th Ultimate Edition content in the Cold War Season 5 game files. This gives us a look at what to expect in the premium Vanguard bundle. This includes Legendary Blueprints with tracer rounds, Operator skins, and early access to the Open Beta.
Here’s everything in the leaked Vanguard Ultimate Edition:
- Lucas – Operator Skin
- Polina – Operator Skin
- Wade – Operator Skin
- Breacher – Legendary Assault Rifle Blueprint
- Snowstorm – Legendary Marksman Rifle Blueprint
- Thunderhead – Legendary Submachine Gun Blueprint
- Night Raid Mastercraft – PPSh-41 Blueprint
- Frontline Weapons Pack
- Exclusive Emblem
- Double XP Tokens
- Open Beta Early Access
What engine will Call of Duty: Vanguard run on?
One of the biggest talking points when discussing Black Ops Cold War and Warzone is the engine. Infinity Ward brought an entirely new, more realistic-feeling engine with Modern Warfare and Warzone, while Cold War used an updated version of the Black Ops 3 engine with a more classic CoD feel.
With players often switching between Cold War and Warzone, the engine shift can feel jarring, so fans are keen to find out which engine CoD: Vanguard will run on.
A report by VGC claims that 2021’s Call of Duty will be on Modern Warfare’s engine. This means the game will likely have the same feel as MW and Warzone and will run similarly, boasting the same improvements to realism and performance.
Call of Duty: Vanguard platforms
Activision stated that Vanguard was being built for next-gen consoles and PC, but it will also release on previous-gen consoles.
In their August 2021 earnings call, Activision confirmed that Vanguard will be available to “both current and next-gen console players.” So, Vanguard will release on the Xbox One, PS4, Xbox Series X|S, PS5, and PC via Battle.net.
Will Call of Duty: Vanguard integrate with Warzone?
Black Ops Cold War integrated with Warzone at its first season, bringing across Operators, weapons, and even Zombies.
Activision has stated that they intend to keep Warzone at the ‘front and center’ of Call of Duty for a long time. In the Q4 investor call, Activision confirmed that CoD 2021 is “designed to both integrate with and enhance the existing COD ecosystem.”
Then in the August 2021 earnings call, Activision said: “Now together with our premium release, we’ve had some really fun and what I consider the most significant updated plan for the community across both Warzone and premium as we head into the fall.”
A June 9, 2021 report by VGC states that the integration between Warzone and Call of Duty: Vanguard will be very extensive thanks to Sledgehammer Games having more time to prepare for it. This integration will see Warzone transition to a World War II setting following its transition to the 1980s in Season 3 of Black Ops Cold War.
New Warzone map reportedly arriving with Vanguard
The transition to a WW2 setting will see a new Pacific Theater World War II Warzone map be the main focus, as it will reportedly be the largest map the Call of Duty battle royale has ever seen. This new Warzone map will also reportedly feature new vehicles for players to use.
Notable leaker and industry insider Tom Henderson has leaked even more details about this new Warzone map. He reported that the map will arrive with Vanguard’s release, and it’ll be significantly larger than Verdansk.
Henderson clarified that he’s heard the new vehicles will be tanks, boats, and planes. But, the more game-breaking vehicles will likely be reserved for an LTM.
The map’s POIs reportedly leaked online, but Henderson believes these may now be out of date. He’s heard that the Docks location may now be scrapped, and a Japanese battleship will feature on the map.
Also, this map is said to feature destructible environments in a similar fashion to Rainbow Six Siege. It won’t feature Battlefield level destruction, but you’ll be able to destroy walls, doors, trees, and other aspects of the environment.
We’ll be sure to update this post with any new information, as it becomes available.
A new Battlefield game will also be released late in 2021, and the game has now been officially revealed, so you can check out everything we know about Battlefield 2042 and its exciting new Portal mode.
Image Credit: Activision / Microsoft