While it’s looking increasingly likely that the Infinity Ward-developed Call of Duty title – due for a reveal very soon and for release later this year – will be Modern Warfare 4, the path the franchise will be taking beyond that looks less concrete. As per a new report on Kotaku by Jason Schreier, Call of Duty 2020 will not be following the three year-cycle the series has been following for a number of years now.
What that means is that Sledgehammer Games, who were next in line to deliver the next Call of Duty game, won’t be in charge of development anymore. As per three sources close to the project, Sledgehammer Games and Raven Software had initially been put in charge of making the next Call of Duty game, but the reins are now being handed to Treyarch, developers of last year’s Black Ops 4.
As per the report, next year’s title will now be Call of Duty: Black Ops 5. Sledgehammer and Raven will still be aiding with the development, but the reason they were taken off as leads is because of purported tensions between the two studios during the next game’s development, which sources called “a mess”.
2020’s Call of Duty title was originally going to be set in Vietnam during the Cold War, and apparently, that much won’t change with Black Ops 5. Sledgehammer and Raven Software will still be helping with the development of the campaign – yes, there will be a campaign – which will still apparently feature the same setting. The report also claims it’s being developed as a cross generation title to coincide with the launches of the PS5 and the next Xbox at the end of next year.
As per Kotaku, the news has seen mixed reactions from those at Treyarch. While there are those who are excited about the project, others are less happy about the shortened development time they’ll be given, with the cycle shifting from three years to two years.
It remains to be seen how this will impact the series’ cycle in the long-term. Will Activision be going back to a two studios-cycle? Will Call of Duty 2021 go back to Infinity Ward?
Meanwhile, in the immediate future, following its reveal, Call of Duty 2019 will be given an entire Coliseum panel at E3 next month, which is when we can expect to see and hear a lot more of the game- though Activision do not plan on having much of a show floor presence otherwise.
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