Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare dev on its canceled third-person Call of Duty

Sledgehammer talks about its canceled Call of Duty set in the Vietnam War.

Last week, developer Sledgehammer gave us an impressive first look at its next entry in Activision’s immensely popular series, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. But that’s not the first project that Sledgehammer worked on at the publisher.

Speaking with Game Informer, Sledgehammer cofounders Michael Condrey and Glen Schofield talked about their canceled third-person Call of Duty game.

They started the project after leaving Visceral Games (where they worked on Dead Space) but stopped development in order to help finish Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. This was right after Activision fired Infinity Ward’s Vince Zampella and Jason West, who took several of Infinity Ward’s developers with them to work on Titanfall at Respawn Entertainment.

At the time, Schofield said it wasn’t likely Sledgehammer would return to the third-person game because its setting was too obscure. Today, we learned that it was supposed to take place in the Vietnam War, focusing on the “Secret War” in Cambodia and Laos.

“We had spent six or eight months on it, and were really getting into the story,” Schofield told Game Informer. “We had some really cool mechanics. We had a big moment that I would love to get into a game someday, but it's not something we could do in first-person.”

He added that large sections of the game took place in underground tunnels, and that the team was “going for some Dead Space moments.”

Sledgehammer had 15 fully playable minutes of the game before it moved on to Modern Warfare 3, and it says the decision to drop the project wasn’t easy. "It was part of our culture that we were all gonna make that decision together. We would have loved to make that [third-person] game. It was in a space that we enjoyed, but how does anything compare to the first-person blockbuster release of 2011?"

Sledgehammer’s Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare launches November 4. For more, be sure to read GameSpot's previous coverage.

Emanuel Maiberg is a freelance writer. You can follow him on Twitter @emanuelmaiberg and Google+.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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Emanuel Maiberg is a freelance writer in search of the Citizen Kane of burritos.

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Discussion

78 comments
XxXDarkness0XxX
XxXDarkness0XxX

hmmm.. well that sucks i probably would have actually enjoyed a CoD game

foxrock66
foxrock66

oh COME ON the one COD that actually could have been interesting

bu3aDeL_Maz
bu3aDeL_Maz

in MW2 there is an option to play in 3rd person in multiplayer. why not add that? just a small on/off option in the options menu that will turn the multiplayer and the campaign to 3rd person shooter.

simontjai
simontjai

I'm happy they mention the "secret war". It was us hmoob people who help faught with american. Me very happy.

isshiah
isshiah

The WW1 idea sounded interesting as well.

gplayer5
gplayer5

Well that's COD for ya. If it's anything different, automatically cancel it, because they know people will still buy the same thing over and over again...


A third person shooter would have actually been a great idea.... -_-

amp_0007
amp_0007

Where's Zipper Interactive (Mag 2) All we want is a really good FPS!!

Oh Wait Damn you Sony You closed the doors on that studio.......

leikeylosh
leikeylosh

Sledgehammer: "Yeah, we're making this cool third-person shooter which will take place in Vietnam. The game will feature a little bit of Dead Space-like scares and a little bit of psychological horror from war. We think it'll be a nice addition to the franchise."

Activision: "Mmm... You said third person?"

Sledgehammer: "Yes."


Activision: "Can you make it... Not third person? Something like... I don't know... Third first person? Or First third person? It has to contain 'First person' in it. Oh, and ditch the scares. Our core audience of 11 year olds can't handle that. On second thought, ditch the Vietnam setting. Do it in the far future with lots of giant robots called Titans."


Sledgehammer: "You know what? F*ck You! Forget it!"

domisbatman
domisbatman

Vietnam ... That was Black Ops and they did a damn good job. Thank god you avoided it 

SoulScribe
SoulScribe

Sorry guys, we have to stop our development on the Third Person Call of Duty. Why? Because it's not a first person shooter.

Slayer70
Slayer70

What a shame. Sounds like it would have been a cool game. What's worse is that those guys had to go work on MW3, the most forgettable game in the COD series

jagdedge124
jagdedge124

I think in hindsight they're gonna wish they stuck with Vietnam.

howiex89
howiex89

Proof that COD is to safe, to dull, to uninspiring. 

orriv94
orriv94

Why ditch this idea, new ideas is what this franchise needs.

daviz88
daviz88

would have been a good idea, considering the exo-skeletons involved.

ThePowerOfHAT
ThePowerOfHAT

Wouldn't mind a third-person, fairly realistic Vietnam War-era shooter.  But it shouldn't be called Call Of Duty.

CorkeyFord
CorkeyFord

A third-person Vietnam shooter? I'd much rather play that than this upcoming "Advanced Warfare" one.

CapnXtraObvious
CapnXtraObvious

And, of course, the idea that gets ditched is the most interesting one.

Keitha313
Keitha313

Ooh yeah why cancel something that is aiming to be different!?!?

Unbelievable bunch of spineless cowards that don't want to try anything new, this is another CoD I wont be buying they really have became a joke.

From memorable games from CoD1 all the way up to CoD3 then they tarnish it with arcade bullshit...

Perks, killstreaks... stuff, stuff, stuff... its a kids game absolutely no doubt about it.

wilson2k9
wilson2k9

Yeah we all know how simple it is to make a "good FPS" clone since all been doing it for years. This way you can make a new game every year with some slightly improved graphics, a few new guns, and some new maps. While gameplay been carried over since COD2 first come on XBOX360. I like some FPS games,, played one you played them all. COD been long overdue for a GTA like 3rd person shooting game. Maybe even a sandbox 3rd person shooting game. 

DamnILoveGames
DamnILoveGames

Well looks like a thousand people said it before me but I'll say it anyway. This definitely sounds like an excuse for 'We realised having some manner of variety would be too dangerous, so it was best to continue changing as little as possible'.

Martyr77
Martyr77

"We realized it would be a lot easier and cheaper just to rehash our last COD like we have done for years since the suckers continue to buy it"-Translation

prodigy_69
prodigy_69

so they bent under the pressure and took the stale easy route...yea well f**kin done. 

Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

"We're not allowed to take ANY risks or change the formula in ANY fashion"

ohara1974
ohara1974

Capt Mitchell: ghost recon advanced warfighter meet Pvt mitchell : of call of duty advanced warfare......

with the MGS storyline

senorbusyman
senorbusyman

they did the right thing now if only they stopped developing cod games

gokuss4z
gokuss4z

Damn that sounded like fun

berserker66666
berserker66666

Is Gamespot trying to be the new IGN COD fanboy? Will we see 10 out of 10 rating of COD games in Gamespot? Find out next time on....The Secret of Bribing.

BrahManDude
BrahManDude

Activision needed money so no third-person shooters just like Bungie first wanted to have a 3rd person shooter but Activision wanted to sell

teller76567
teller76567

Hmmm....That's what Call of duty black ops was about...along with some sick and twisted leads...i bet they where going to feel really stupid...Dumb sh#t's i swear the industry is going down the toilet due to morons that cant really think.

berserker66666
berserker66666

What? Sledgehammer cancelled the opportunity to make yet another yearly cash grab Call of Duty game? Activision's gonna throw a fit.

crazyrage23
crazyrage23

@jagdedge124  honestly don't think it was Sledgehammer who made the choice to cancel the games but rather Activision Blizzard that made the choice for them. It really is sad.

Fitcherman
Fitcherman

@howiex89 what is the proof?  the fact that they are in business as part of the three headed monster developer that is Call of Duty?

Fitcherman
Fitcherman

@orriv94 Because it was an outlier and a big risk, whereas working on the real series is a sure bet.

Fitcherman
Fitcherman

@Keitha313 Most of the people I know who play COD are in their mid-twenties.  The kids I know who game are into those handhelds and mobile games. 

And they canceled it because it was a big risk, whereas working on the real series was a sure investment.

Fitcherman
Fitcherman

@wilson2k9 If you want a third person shooter then go play one.  COD is first person and that is the way most fans of the series like it.

Fitcherman
Fitcherman

@Martyr77 Safe investment = they get to keep their jobs.  Insult all you want hater.

DamnILoveGames
DamnILoveGames

@berserker66666 It's annoying to see almost every game too similar to its last installment get called out on that, but when COD does it it's never mentioned.

howiex89
howiex89

@Fitcherman @howiex89  I've noticed you defend the safe approach on here. Yet sticking COD on the box is all it seems to take to make millions. It's one of the few franchises that can afford to take risks. When a franchise takes a new direction it allows it the opportunity to bring back people that have since avoided COD games as previous instalments have felt like to much of the same previous game. 


At the end of the day most people think back to their first modern warfare game that really got people excited. When they took a big step away from the then more popular rehashing of WW2 games.

DamnILoveGames
DamnILoveGames

@Fitcherman I don't care. Just because they made a logical choice it doesn't mean I have to like said choice.

Fitcherman
Fitcherman

@howiex89 @Fitcherman Actually sales and online population has been strong through Black Ops 2.  Ghosts is the first title that has shown some series fatigue, which is understandable.  They know that if they make drastic changes like Halo did, they will suffer a huge hit in sales and player base.

howiex89
howiex89

@Fitcherman @howiex89  That's fine don;t change it, but every new release sees more people opting out because people are bored of the same formula. 


I wanted to be convinced that their next version would lure me back in but I've seen nothing yet for that.

Fitcherman
Fitcherman

@howiex89 @Fitcherman They have a winning formula and there is no good reason to change it up.  Look what happened to Halo.  They changed up the multiplayer formula and went from being #1 on the xbox live activity charts to now being not even in the top 15.

Fitcherman
Fitcherman

@DamnILoveGames @Fitcherman Gameplay is different every game, if you can't see it that is on you.  And this time they say they are using a new engine so you'll get your wish.

DamnILoveGames
DamnILoveGames

@Fitcherman A new engine and new gameplay. Something which, when we look back to COD 4, doesn't have us saying 'Well would you look at that. The gameplay hasn't changed at all'. They don't even try to improve it. It just feels the same all the time.