Global media giant Vivendi owns a controlling stake in the world's biggest game publisher, Activision Blizzard. So when Vivendi chairman and CEO Jean-Bernard Levy spoke at the Morgan Stanley TMT conference this week in Barcelona, it wasn't odd that the subject turned to the Call of Duty franchise.
The Financial Times reports that, unsurprisingly, Levy was thrilled with the $650 million, five-day sales performance of Call of Duty: Black Ops, which broke Modern Warfare 2's record-breaking five-day sales of $550 million.
"We have broken our own record. I am very, very pleased," Levy said. "The Treyarch studio, which made this year's game, has done better than what Infinity Ward could achieve a year ago."
Levy went on to directly discuss Infinity Ward, which was beset by mass staff defections after Activision fired studio heads Vince Zampella and Jason West in March. He said that Activision has "got over" the problems and fully rebuilt Infinity Ward. "We have reconstructed Infinity Ward, [and] we are very happy with the way we have been able to reconstruct it," said Levy. Papers filed in a May lawsuit confirmed the studio is currently working on Modern Warfare 3.
The executive went on to say that going forward, the Call of Duty series will have a three-studio strategy, with Treyarch, Infinity Ward, and Sledgehammer Games each working on an offshoot of the franchise. Though little is known about the latter's unnamed COD game, it is rumored it will be a science fiction spin-off of the franchise
"We believe this set-up of studios...has demonstrated it can do very well, for sure," said Levy, even though Sledgehammer's game has yet to see the light of day.
For more on Call of Duty: Black Ops, check out GameSpot's full review.