During today’s investor conference call, Activision announced that 2014 will have a Call of Duty game, and it will be developed by Sledgehammer Games. This will mark the first Call of Duty game not developed with collaboration of Infinity Ward or Treyarch. Activision also announced that Call of Duty will now be on a three year development cycle. Regarding this announcement Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg said “This will give our designers more time to envision and innovate for each title. Simultaneously, it will give our content creators more focus on DLC and micro-DLC which, as you know, have become large and high-margin opportunities and significant engagement drivers.” Continuing he spoke on how it would allow for the best experience each year for their players.
Sledgehammer Games was founded in 2009, and has only worked on one game thus far: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. Modern Warfare 3 was a collaboration with Infinity Ward, and the game broke sales records at the time, hitting 1 billion in sales in a quicker time then the box office smash Avatar. Where Sledgehammer will take the franchise is anyone’s guess, but they will presumably be followed by the next Treyarch game in 2015, and Infinity Ward returning to the fold in 2016. The move to give devs a three year development cycle could have been a result of this years lukewarm critical reception to Call of Duty: Ghosts, though these plans have likely been in motion for many years.
by, Bobby Marquardt