After Activision announced better-than-expected earnings today, its executives held a conference call with analysts. During the call, they made the not-so-surprising revelation that the company is planning to release new installments in its tent-pole game franchises.
"In [calendar year] 2010, Activision Publishing is expected to release strong, innovative new titles," Activision Publishing president Mike Griffith told analysts. "The diversified lineup will include titles based on the best selling franchises including Call of Duty, Guitar Hero, Shrek, [and] Spider-Man."
While the Shrek game will be a tie-in with the forthcoming computer-animated film Shrek Forever After, little is known about the new Guitar Hero, Tony Hawk, or Spider-Man titles. However, the next Spider-Man movie won't be released until 2011 at the earliest, meaning that the next game, first revealed in August, will likely be comic-book based.
That said, there is a fair amount of information--and even more speculation--about the next Call of Duty game. In May, an employee at Call of Duty: World at War developer Treyarch accidentally revealed that "Call of Duty 7" was already "in production," presumably for the series' traditional holiday release window.
The Treyarch report closely followed a rumor that had the studio's music department looking for "Vietnam War-era tunes, as well as Cuban, African, and Soviet Union music"--hinting at a Cold War setting. Though unconfirmed, that came several months after Treyarch's senior producer told the UK edition of Official Xbox Magazine that Call of Duty: World at War would be the last game in the series to be set during World War II. That transition has already been made by franchise founder Infinity Ward, whose second present-day game, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, ships Tuesday.
There's also the possibility the new Call of Duty game due in 2010 may not be a direct sequel. At a press event that preceded June's Electronic Entertainment Expo, Activision CEO Bobby Kotick said his company was looking to expand the series into other genres. In March 2008, he publicly mused about the possibility of a massively multiplayer title based in the Call of Duty universe.