Call of Duty could be gearing up for its annual release cycle early this year after Infinity Ward's senior communications tweeted a cryptic gif that many are taking as a teaser for the next Call of Duty game.
The skull gif is potentially a tease for a sequel to Infinity Ward's Call of Duty: Modern Warfare series which features a protagonist named "Ghost." The tweets were originally suspected to be a reference to Call of Duty: Ghosts, but Kotaku's Jason Schreier debunked those rumors. Instead, it seems like the tweets could be referencing Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2's Lieutenant Simon "Ghost" Riley who wears a skull print balaclava.
There have been three Modern Warfare entries from Infinity Ward and a Modern Warfare 4 would be the first sequel to Modern Warfare in eight years after Infinity Ward took a detour with 2013's Call of Duty: Ghosts and 2016's Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare. A Modern Warfare sequel would also line up with Activision's predictable Call of Duty release cycle.
Activision utilizes a rotating development system that allows for a Call of Duty game to be released annually and Infinity Ward, Treyarch, and Sledgehammer Games take turns developing and releasing a Call of Duty game each year. In 2017 Sledgehammer released Call of Duty: WW2 which took the series back to its World War 2 roots, and last year Treyarch released Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 which omitted a story mode in favor of an expanded zombie mode and a battle royale mode called Blackout.
While this means it should be Infinity Ward's turn to bat, the skull gif alone is by no means a proper announcement. There's also no word on whether Infinity Ward will be following Treyarch's footsteps by releasing a multiplayer-only version of Call of Duty, or whether it will feature a single-player campaign like in WW2 and past Modern Warfare games.
In the meantime, you can check out our Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 guide including tips for Blackout battle royale and breakdowns of different Black Ops 4 multiplayer classes. We should know more around May, which is when Call of Duty is typically unveiled.