Call of Duty's Three-Year Dev Cycle Ensures Best Ideas Make It on Disc

Activision Publishing CEO says new pipeline gives studios the "freedom to fail" during the creative process as they try new ideas.

The Call of Duty franchise's new, three-year, three-studio development cycle will not only lead to more impressive visuals, but also better gameplay. That's according to Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg, who says in a new interview that giving developers more time to hash out ideas ensures that every new installment will be a major step forward for the brand.

"That extra year of development time, particularly with the new consoles and the more powerful hardware, has really paid off thus far to iterate, innovate, and try new things," Hirshberg told Joystiq. "To find out which things didn't work and have the freedom to fail in the creative process, so what goes on the disc is the best ideas."

"The thing that the three-year development cycle allows is these games have gotten so ambitious, we're packing so many different modes of play onto the disc," he added. "The things that started off as flyers, like zombies or co-op became their own whole games."

The first Call of Duty title developed under the new structure is this November's Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, from Sledgehammer Games. The game pushes the Call of Duty series forward by introducing the exosuit, a device that gives players a range of super-abilities. Earlier this week, Sledgehammer Games finally revealed details about Advanced Warfare's multiplayer mode, and exosuit abilities play a major role.

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @EddieMakuch
Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Written By

Want the latest news about Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare?

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare

Discussion

96 comments
maramot
maramot

You know what it also ensures - the best ideas from other games get copied into the next CoD. Much innovative! Wow! :D

Stepn2myworld
Stepn2myworld

Activision is doubling down on past sins involving the death of valuable franchises, e.g., Tony Hawk and Guitar Hero. Hopefully, we the consumer shall see them properly reap their deserved fate on shores of the afterlife with other over-exposed franchises. 

Pupchu
Pupchu

Eric Hirshberg talks alot without actually saying anything. :O

xcollector
xcollector

Looking forward to Activision's eventual crash and burn.

COD is loosing its steam.

They have 3 dev teams each working on a 3 year cycle, so that they can push it out annually. 

When it fails, it will be devastating to Activision because they have very little else to fall back on.

EA might be just as evil as Activision but at least they're smart enough to have a more diverse portfolio.

Shantmaster_K
Shantmaster_K

I like the idea. Let's hope CoD: AW proves that it is the better idea. 

DrKill09
DrKill09

WHAT "Three year development cycle"?!  You guys crap these out yearly.

robertcain
robertcain

I was ready to dislike Advanced Warfare, but since looking at all they've been doing, the boosted customisation and new dynamics for multiplayer, I'm willing to bet that this will be the game that finally sends the series back up innovation lane (By that I mean, not being the same rehashed online play over and over again).

CallMeDuraSouka
CallMeDuraSouka

It's common knowledge that ideas are used and used again. With this in mind, what would you whiners do to invigorate the series, if tis so easy lets hear it.

ps3gamer1234
ps3gamer1234

Xbox 0ne 720p upscaled at 60fps. and PS4 1080p 60fps.

nero3068
nero3068

No, they will just wait for Respawn to come up with new tested ideas again and then copy from them.

Kashmiro
Kashmiro

I'd prefer a non-annualized version making it every other year. Otherwise I think it would be good to not place two consecutive games in the same period. Change the setting, don't go futuristic war then again futuristic war. It makes the game feel like DLC instead of new ideas.

Dissentioncc
Dissentioncc

Here's an idea, one studio and space the games out at least two years so people don't feel like they have to buy the new one every year. But all dat cash, so it'll never happen.

S001_PRIMAL
S001_PRIMAL

Bad ideas like a titanfall ripoff....sure there are differences like its more focused on the infantry but still, dont start jumping on bandwagons.... go back to making shooters that dont have over complicated and stupid things. also let it have a 2 year life span.... that way you can give the industry a break from crappy, hacked in a month games


maramot
maramot

These statements from mastodont companies sound more and more like a parody of a government press release :)))

grenadehh
grenadehh

@saltlife225 @CallMeDuraSouka For starters stop using the word warfare. OMG SO HARD TO COME UP WITH THAT.


Second, stop re-using the same engine over, and over, and over.


Actually put some physics in it.


Stop using the same ridiculous claustrophobic maps.


No more 1 click melee kills.


No more perks.


Weapon unlocks can stay.


That drastically changes the game and it's not all that much work.

grenadehh
grenadehh

@001011000101101 @S001_PRIMAL He's being sarcastic you fools. Quake and Tribes and UT invented those things.

CallMeDuraSouka
CallMeDuraSouka

@S001_PRIMAL Titanfall invented fast movement and high jumps, true.

Ignorance is bliss.......

blitzman7
blitzman7

@grenadehh @saltlife225 @CallMeDuraSouka a new engine is gravely needed and im hoping theyre true to their word with it being new this year with it being the 1st three year cycle game. the melee discussion is a hot topic so ill avoid that. no PERKS? perks are a part of the games identity, they stay. what people dont realize is its hard to change cod drastically with it still feeling like a cod game. i really have no problems with it being the same each year cuz i love it. i go to shoot people & scream at my tv. if i want an immersive experience that tugs on my soul ill play other games like The Last of Us

CallMeDuraSouka
CallMeDuraSouka

" Titanfall invented fast movement and high jumps, true."

Ignorance is bliss......

Just in case that confuses anyone, I'm pointing out that his comment is foolish.

If that's still confusing, well.......

S001_PRIMAL
S001_PRIMAL

@CallMeDuraSouka no they didnt, crysis did the whole exo thing before, and im pretty sure others have as well. im not ignorant about that. but when people reuse the same idea too soon then your just jumping on the bandwagon. give the idea some time instead of releasing something vastly similar. also way to repeat 01's comment callmedurasouka.....youre soo cool....dumbass


maramot
maramot

The first game to use long jump was Half-life, released in 1998. Very innovative indeed.

CallMeDuraSouka
CallMeDuraSouka

Next time I'll use quotation marks so as not to offend the reading comprehension of people such as you.

His remark was beyond ignorant, as is yours.

S001_PRIMAL
S001_PRIMAL

@grenadehh @S001_PRIMAL again just like yesterday with the whole mass effect deadspace trilogy argument, you just rabble on without actually knowing anything


grenadehh
grenadehh

@S001_PRIMAL @grenadehh What a f*cking dumbass. You're literally bitching about NOTHING. I didn't read your dumbass comment chain - which in fact I DID, and NONE of you mentioned UT, Quake, or Tribes at all.


Ergo, you're dumb, and shut it.


And don't even bring up your dumbass mass effect comparison. Dead Space came out 11 months afterMass Effect - so you're saying obviously it was a copy, not to mention they're both based on a 15 year old game in the first place.

S001_PRIMAL
S001_PRIMAL

@grenadehh once again, im was never talking about the actual game itself, i was talking about them as trilogies and their stories. once again your argument is invalid 

S001_PRIMAL
S001_PRIMAL

@grenadehh @S001_PRIMAL bro dont call me a dumbass when you undermine your own statement yesterday. and then ontop of that you comment on a post you literaly have no business commenting on


S001_PRIMAL
S001_PRIMAL

@grenadehh @S001_PRIMAL and yet you use that same argument to undermine your own statement after

grenadehh
grenadehh

@S001_PRIMAL I'm not undermining my own argument if I agree that you have a point and you're right. You need to get over the assumption that we're having an argument and accept the fact that people are actually reasonable and will occasionally listen. I told you yesterday, yes, there are undeniable similarities in the overall story structure. None of that was ever really mentioned in Dead Space 1 or 2, and I haven't even finished ME1 so I can't comment as to whether or not it seems like one of the franchises had it planned from the start.

grenadehh
grenadehh

@S001_PRIMAL @grenadehh Are you still talking about yesterday? Christ, woman.


Why don't you just accept the fact that they're both descendants of the System Shock 2 story and then we can drop it.

S001_PRIMAL
S001_PRIMAL

@grenadehh @S001_PRIMAL christ child, im also talking about today. if an argument was already resolved why would you jump into it......and then bring up unessessary facts from a 15 year old game........fine let just call it even and drop it now

grenadehh
grenadehh

@S001_PRIMAL @grenadehh No one ever used the word sarcasm, /s, or mentioned the actual games that those features came from. Unless they deleted the comment. Go look for yourself. 

S001_PRIMAL
S001_PRIMAL

@grenadehh @S001_PRIMAL also in this conversation i was referring to an immediate game that was just released with those same features. its pretty lame to release an equivilent of a game released a few months ago compared to a game 15 years ago

grenadehh
grenadehh

@S001_PRIMAL @grenadehh Not if you're talking about originality. System Shock 2 has so many spiritual successors it's ridiculous. BioShock 1, 2, 3, Dead Space 1, 2, 3, the new prey supposedly, me 1 - 3. Still a pretty relevant game since it was the pinnacle of games.

S001_PRIMAL
S001_PRIMAL

@grenadehh i cannot deny system shock was incredible though. they really need to make a sequal

grenadehh
grenadehh

@S001_PRIMAL @grenadehh OH if only. As long as EA never ever had anything to do with it again and it was made by Irrational and only if they wanted to. Ken would have to be involved though.


Imagine if SS3 was on like Crytek 3 or Unreal 4, it would be at least graphically/technically wonderful. They'd have to dumb down the gameplay though for console players, like they did in BioShock. So many menus to deal with when researching and switching weapons and changing ammo.


Not that they couldn't find a good way of doing that on a controller.

S001_PRIMAL
S001_PRIMAL

@grenadehh @S001_PRIMAL well there is something we can truly agree on.....EA would probably litter it with microtransactions

grenadehh
grenadehh

@S001_PRIMAL @grenadehh All peoples can agree on the glory of System Shock 2, unless they've not played it. In which case shame on them. It's 5 dollars, whats wrong with you.