The past several weeks have seen game-news headlines dominated by the $550 million launch of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. Now, with the game officially shattering the five-day sales record for any sort of entertainment property, it appears that Activision is increasing its backing of the series.
According to a report in today's Los Angeles Times, the publisher has now enlisted a third studio to help out in development of the Call of Duty series. Until now, Activision had a two-studio system that assured annual installments of Call of Duty. Currently, the series' creator, Infinity Ward, is focusing on the Modern Warfare branch of the franchise, which explores fictional near-future conflicts with cutting-edge technology. The second studio, Treyarch, had been focusing on World War II games, although it has since said it has finished with the conflict in the face of rumors that next year's title will be set during the Cold War.
What exactly the third Call of Duty studio will be working on remains a mystery. The Times did not name the shop and Activision had not responded to requests for identification as of press time. The paper also does not explain the third studio's role, saying only that it will be "working on future versions" of Call of Duty games. Those may include the current console and PC mainstays of the series, handheld spin-offs, Wii ports, or even possibly mobile games like the just-released iPhone title Call of Duty: Zombies. Another possibility is a rumored massively multiplayer Call of Duty spin-off, which cash-flush CEO Bobby Kotick teased in 2008.