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(Pocket-lint) - For the first time in years, we're getting a break from Call of Duty in 2023 - Modern Warfare 2 will get two years to sink in, while Treyarch potentially takes a longer run-up for its next Black Ops game.

That means that once Modern Warfare 2 is out we'll be waiting until 2024 for the next mainline COD, giving plenty of time for rumours and leaks to circulate. Find out all the key details, right here.

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Call of Duty: Black Ops 6 release date

It's been widely reported that Modern Warfare 2, the next COD from Infinity Ward, will act as a bit of a reset for the franchise. This means that, for one thing, it will get a two-year window as the dominant game in the series, rather than being shuffled off-stage after 12 months.

Fans are actually welcoming this, by and large, since it means that balance should have more time to be addressed and the game should get more maps and weapons than a normal COD release typically has in recent years.

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It also means that Black Ops 6 (which is the most likely entry to come next) won't arrive until 2024. This will be useful for its lead developer, Treyarch, since the game is also moving to the latest version of the IW engine, to be shared by all COD games moving forward.

This unity stands in contrast to recent times, where Modern Warfare 2019, Black Ops Cold War and Vanguard all used different iterations of the engine that led to difficulty in merging their content into the behemoth that is Warzone.

Call of Duty: Black Ops 6 platforms

In the old days it was the simplest task in the world to work out what platforms the next Call of Duty would appear on - all of them. Now, though, things are much more complicated. The elephant in the room is the acquisition of Activision Blizzard by Microsoft.

This deal (when it finally completes) means that Xbox actually owns Call of Duty outright, with the potential to make it the world's biggest exclusive console franchise. In the relative short term, that's not how things are expected to play out, though.

PlayStation has a long-standing marketing agreement with Activision for Call of Duty games that sees it get game modes first and other priority treatment, and this apparently extends to a contract that should see the next few COD games come to PlayStation consoles.

While the dates in the above Tweet from Schreier are no longer considered accurate, the substance very much is, so we're expecting Black Ops 6 to arrive on both Xbox and PlayStation consoles, as well as on PC.

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Call of Duty: Black Ops 6 story

The Black Ops series started as an off-shoot to COD's modern games, and from the very beginning played a bit more fast and loose with history, jumping into documented events and spinning them into a vast web of conspiracies and false flag operations.

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Right now we don't have any concrete details about the likely continuation of the series' story from Activision itself, but a leak in July 2022 made for some interesting revelations.

Files found in the closed alpha test files of Warzone Mobile and posted to Twitter (before being swiftly struck down for copyright infringement) apparently showed a couple of images from Black Ops 6.

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One had a key detail to offer up - a Lockheed F-117 Nighthawk stealth bomber parked in a hangar, which makes the game highly likely to involve some action from the Gulf War, given the aircraft's prominent use in that conflict.

This doesn't guarantee anything, but it would make sense for the series to keep moving forward in time after the action in Cold War, and we'll be interested to see how it remixes history this time out.

Call of Duty: Black Ops 6 gameplay

We can be a little more confident about how Black Ops 6 will eventually play - it's a Call of Duty, after all.

That means you can definitely expect bombastic first-person shooting, and a decent amount of vehicular combat too given the evidence of recent games in the series.

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Black Ops has often presented a slightly more arcadey look and feel compared to the grittier reality of Modern Warfare games, with more neon-soaked lighting and a slightly lighter tone, but that's never guaranteed.

Since the game will be on the same engine as Modern Warfare 2 it should look great, and we'll be interested to see if it iterates on gameplay features like mounting and door opening, given these have been variables previously.

That will take some time to discover, though - until we have Modern Warfare 2 in our hands, we won't even know what Black Ops 6 could be working with.

Writing by Max Freeman-Mills.