Activision is currently in the midst of finalizing a potentially huge upheaval of the status quo for its flagship franchise, it seems.
As one of – if not the – the most lucrative video game franchises on planet Earth, it goes without saying that the publisher has a hands-on approach to overseeing Call of Duty‘s day-to-day development. For more than a decade, Treyarch and Infinity Ward, as wardens of the IP, have pumped out annual installments of the first-person shooter, a successful formula that changed back in 2012 when a third contributor entered the picture.
With the addition of Sledgehammer Games, the bi-yearly cycle changed to a three-year repeating pattern and has remained that way ever since. Until now, at least. As per a recent report published by Kotaku, it appears as if a certain degree of unrest has affected next year’s addition to the series, prompting Activision to remove Sledgehammer from the equation and install Treyarch instead. This, among other things, likely means Call of Duty: Black Ops 5 could arrive as soon as 2020, entirely upending the original plan.
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According to the report, the latter, presumably now-cancelled project, was to be set during the Cold War and involve the Vietnam conflict. Under different leadership, the setting will apparently remain, though major changes will likely be par for the course. As for the reasoning behind such a late-stage reshuffle, it appears as if a clash of creative visions between Sledgehammer and support studio Raven has hampered proceedings, issues only further compounded by the mass exodus of staff from the former in pursuit of new career opportunities.
How much of an effect this upset will have on the final product remains to be seen, though with just two years instead of the usual three to make the deadline, Treyarch will assuredly be between a rock and a hard place right about now. In fact, sources from within the studio tell Kotaku that some aren’t best pleased with the inevitable crunch and overtime that will be required to reach said goalposts.
Is the potentially earlier than expected announcement of Call of Duty: Black Ops 5 music to your ears though, or would you rather have seen the end result of Sledgehammer’s efforts? Let us know in the usual place below.