Call of Duty returning to consoles this fall

Activision announces agreement with Gray Matter and Treyarch for new WWII shooter for "the consoles"; publisher dismisses Xbox mention as a "typo."

This morning, Atari announced that it had struck a deal with Call of Duty: Finest Hour developer Spark Unlimited to develop a next-generation console game. In a case of not-so-coincidental timing, Activision announced that it is also planning a new Call of Duty console game, due "this fall." Previously, the only Call of Duty console game was Finest Hour for the Xbox, GameCube, and PlayStation 2.

But while Activision was forthcoming about the developers behind the new game--Spider-Man 2 shop Treyarch and internal studio Gray Matter, maker of the United Offensive PC expansion pack--it was less forthcoming about which platform it would be released for. The release said only that "Activision will be enlisting gamers in an all-new tour of duty this fall with its latest Call of Duty game for the consoles." (Emphasis added.)

Readers of the announcement debated whether the awkward vagueness of the release was by design or accident. One leading theory said that an earlier draft of the announcement had listed the current-generation consoles the game was being released for, but the mention was deleted, hence the awkwardly placed "the." This assertion seemed backed up by a footnote in the initial PR Newswire release that listed a Microsoft disclaimer for the Xbox. No other mention was made of any other system, either current or next-generation.

When asked to clarify exactly which consoles the Treyarch/Gray Matter Call of Duty would be released for, an Activision rep would say only that "it will be released for 'the consoles.' That's all we're saying at this time." The same rep dismissed the Xbox mention as a "typo." "That's just boilerplate that we put on every press release. It doesn't mean anything," said the spokesperson. Mention of the Xbox was not present in a later e-mail announcement sent out by Activison.

Presumably, the question of which console the Treyarch/Gray Matter Call of Duty is set to hit will be answered in the coming months.

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