When Activision took its internal studio Neversoft off the Tony Hawk franchise in early 2009, the move was understandable, considering the influx of Guitar Hero games the outfit had been tasked with developing. However, early this year, Activision again lightened Neversoft's work load, honing its slate of Guitar Hero games to just one in 2010, the recently announced Warriors of Rock.
As to the question of where Neversoft would next be channeling its resources, it would appear as if Activision has given the green light to a new shooter at the studio. As spotted by Internet sleuthing blog Superannuation, recent Neversoft job listings indicate that the studio is gearing up for a "new action shooter game." Neversoft has posted a number of positions for the project, including a Senior Designer, Lead Multiplayer Designer, Level Designer, and Scripter.
The job listings heavily emphasize that the game will feature both single- and multiplayer components. Further, Neversoft's project will apparently carry a "realistic" aesthetic, though no other context for this design philosophy was teased.
Neversoft isn't a stranger to the shooter genre. The studio shipped Gun as an Xbox 360 launch title in 2005, though the action-heavy Western shooter fared better with critics on the original Xbox, PlayStation 2, GameCube, and PC. A revival of that franchise isn't out of the question, considering the recent success of Rockstar San Diego's similarly themed Red Dead Redemption, which Take-Two said yesterday had sold 5 million units in less than a month.
Alternatively, Neversoft could be the latest studio tapped to work on the Call of Duty franchise, which Activision has now segmented off into its own business unit. Currently, there are at least four Call of Duty-branded games in the works, including Treyarch's Black Ops and Sledgehammer's action adventure, as well as the possible Infinity Ward-developed Modern Warfare 3 and a massively multiplayer online title in the works for Asia. Raven Software has also been attached to the franchise.
Activision has also signaled its intent to expand the franchise further. In May, the publisher registered domain names for a number of potential Call of Duty titles, ranging from Call of Duty: Future Warfare to Advanced Warfare and Space Warfare.