New Call of Duty biz unit unveiled, Sledgehammer COD confirmed, Asian MMOG spin-off planned

[UPDATE] Activision unveils department focused on expanding franchise, confirms rumors Bay Area studio working on COD "action-adventure" title; mystery COD title due in 2011; massively multiplayer licensing in negotiations; Infinity Ward apparently involved only in MW2 expansions.

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The day after a dramatic shake-up at Modern Warfare 2 developer Infinity Ward, Activision Blizzard has officially revealed its plans for the studio's signature Call of Duty series. As suspected, those will not include studio president Jason West and CEO Vince Zampella, who "are no longer with Infinity Ward," according to a statement. Two Activision Publishing executives, chief technology officer Steve Pearce and head of production Steve Ackrich "will lead Infinity Ward on an interim basis."

Activision has officially revealed its covert plans for the Call of Duty series.

In fact, Activision's Call of Duty plans largely exclude the studio that created the signature first-person shooter series. In an announcement this afternoon, the company said it is forming a massive new business unit dedicated entirely to expanding the first-person shooter franchise.

However, other than the two upcoming Modern Warfare 2 map packs, the announcement does not mention Infinity Ward at all. This means the studio could be focusing on the "unique new IP" it announced in 2008 when many of its top developers renewed their contracts.

In a statement, Activision Blizzard said that the new business unit will "expand the Call of Duty brand with the same focus seen in its Blizzard Entertainment business unit. This will include a focus on high-margin digital online content and further the brand as the leading action entertainment franchise in new geographies, new genres and with new digital business models."

As suspected, the next Call of Duty will be developed by Treyarch and will arrive sometime later this year. According to rumors last year, it will be set during either the Cold War or the Vietnam War. Activision did not offer any new details about the game's plot, setting, or launch.

However, Activision did confirm a long-standing rumor that a second Call of Duty game is in the works at a non-Infinity Ward studio. That shop is indeed Sledgehammer Games, the San Francisco Bay Area studio Activision formed last year by hiring two key Dead Space developers away from Electronic Arts. The unnamed title "will extend the franchise into the action-adventure genre," according to the statement, lending weight to rumors the project is a third-person spin-off of the series.

[UPDATE & CORRECTION] In addition to the Sledgehammer COD game, which has no release date, there is another COD due out in 2011 from an unknown studio--which could even possibly be Infinity Ward. GameSpot initially reported that the Sledgehammer game was due out in 2011 and regrets the error.

Were that not enough news, Activision also confirmed that it is moving forward on CEO Bobby Kotick's stated desire to expand the Call of Duty brand into massively multiplayer gaming. The company said that it is "in discussions with a select number of partners to bring the franchise to Asia, one of the fastest growing regions for online multiplayer games in the world." The majority of those games are based on the microtransaction-based business model. A Call of Duty version of such a game might resemble Electronic Arts' free-to-play war shooter Battlefield: Heroes, launched last year.

The man leading the new Call of Duty unit certainly has experience in the East. He is Philip Earl, current head of Activision Publishing's Asia Pacific operations and a former senior executive at Nestle and Procter & Gamble.

Discussion

651 comments
diabloakaSAHA
diabloakaSAHA

No offence but dont go hating on treyarch. Frankly speaking Black ops is better than modern warfare 2...a lot better actually. In mw2's online its just retards knifing with the commando perk,akmbo weapons and losers camping with the heartbeat sensors. Black Ops is more refined, well balanced. With the theatre mode and the community where u can view all the awsome pics and clips. Y'gotta give them credit. After Black ops i really dont miss infinity ward.

GordonFrohman11
GordonFrohman11

Like it or not Call of Duty 4 was the best game in the series and every other game in the series has tried and failed to top it. Modern Warfare 3 no thank you.

primefan2
primefan2

No im sorry a call of duty MMO , i dont think so , its not , no

dbe425
dbe425

Milking that cow for every drop is just bad business. True gamers will pass on this crap but Dynamo11 is right... most buyers lap up whatever is put out. Tweak a few things on an old product, wrap it in a new package, spend a ton hyping it up and bam...the moron masses are happy.

nuclearV2mssile
nuclearV2mssile

so now COD becomes some sort of Action-Adventure... how the hell is that going to happen? Next thing that could happen is combining Guitar Hero with COD

snfonseka
snfonseka

Looks like Activision is going squeeze COD brand for more money.

Dynamo11
Dynamo11

Kotick believe's that raping a franchise up the a$$ constantly is a good way to sell copies, this is true becasue 70% of his buyers are morons.

Lawnwake
Lawnwake

God this is like some kind of bad joke. Did they even keep a straight face announcing this? This situation is laughable to say the least. Shameless milking, that's what this is. And the Treyarch ones don't convince me at all after the imense blandness of World at War. Also @ Zombieshot115 stop trolling every single COD news to ask for zombies, no one cares. You obviously have no idea what this series is all about. Zombies are a gimmick, go play L4D if you want to shoot the undead.

Micooliscool
Micooliscool

i would like a cod game were they just dont focus on usa, maybe put some Australian moments into COD (Gallipoli etc) would be good or an actual modern warefare game where it is based in afgan and iraq

TQ_NintyNoE
TQ_NintyNoE

I think Modern Warfare 3 and the new Treyarch game will suffice; the Modern Warfare setting will close, and another game on par with CoDWaW will be released. Whatever happens after that can only go from good to bad, and for me, a focus on other game series.

Lost-Memory
Lost-Memory

Honestly. I think the CoD series should die. Im not trying to troll or anything, but unless they actually start getting it right, I don't think im going to even pay attention to it. CoD used to be a good franchise. But, MW2 was lacking IMO, and what is with the action adventure CoD and stuff... thats not even cool. Way to show how much you don't care about your buyers.

zombieshot115
zombieshot115

cant wait cold war or vietnam war shud be cool and then hav a zombie bonus mode once u beat the story mode on any difficulty again

zombieshot115
zombieshot115

COD7 ZOMBIES PLEASE and they shud make mw3 just to end the story. then do some different war

iKrysis
iKrysis

You got to be kidding me, the shame of squandered power. The guys upstairs don't care at all about what made them successful in the first place, and now they want to just make petty money from the hungry hands of the Asians. When I thought it couldn't get any worse - Battlefield is still here for me, I suppose.

kubb724
kubb724

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

PandaBear86
PandaBear86

I can't wait to play Tony Hawk's World of DiabloCraft: Modern StarHero Warfare 3

edub272
edub272

unfortunately, like any game that sees success, off shoots come. An action adventure COD game?? theres now way an action adventure game could even seem like COD. Give it a new name entirely if ur gonna do that. Activision just needs to STAY FOCUSED. Concentrate on progressing the FPS genre, or something else will surpass the cod franchise

cannibal87
cannibal87

A new rpg thats all i care about

barn79
barn79

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Dynamo11
Dynamo11

Is Activison taking the p*ss?! A Call of Duty JMMORPG?!

DaRk_NiTeMaRe
DaRk_NiTeMaRe

A Cold War or Vietnam CoD sounds worth a shot, but that's about it for me and CoD games. Back to Halo (which isn't much better)

drdrat
drdrat

@Ovaskilled I know he made a substantial amount of money off Atari, which he reinvested into homes, and PizzaTime Theaters/ChuckECheese (among other things) But the point was never how much money Nolan made. The point is that Activision seems to be jumping onto the tracks long abandoned by Atari, and soon enough Kotick is gonna run the company into the ground. First you don't piss off your buyers by telling them "if it were up to me, I'd sell them for more", secondly milking always isn't a good thing, especially when you milk multiple times a year and drive a once flourishing genre into pretty much suicide. Sure Atari is still around, but they will never be as big as they used to be and that is obvious. I often find myself noticing a game is published by Atari and it leaves me thinking "They're still around". By the way.. you should read this http://www.amazon.com/Ultimate-History-Video-Games-Pokemon/dp/0761536434/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1267817958&sr=8-1 Nolan Bushnell said a lot of things that contradicts himself.

StJimmy15
StJimmy15

Oh my God... They are trashing the CoD franchise here. Give us one new MW every 2 years and we're good. Nobody wants a MMO based on CoD, or a Vietnam based CoD, or an "Action Adventure" Cod... (WTF is that even supposed to mean??)

Inconnux
Inconnux

moo moo moo... let the milking begin

Ovaskilled
Ovaskilled

@drdrat He sold the company to warner, and they said they were excited because of the money they were going to make from the atari, his words to them were "The Atari is finished". Yes he was "Fired", but he left with a "Substantial amount of cash" and said he made "Almost" as much off leaving the company as he did for owning it. :) Source: I, Videogame (Youtube it for a VERY informative documentary on all aspects of gaming, including lots of interviews with various people from the gaming industry, Including Nolan Bushnell himself :) )

drdrat
drdrat

@Ovaskilled Actually, he sold the company to Warner, and started to lose interest in Atari by doing various things. Warner exec's then fired him on that cause, and gave him a 7 year no compete contract, then replacing him with Ray Kassar; an exec from the textile business who knew nothing about games. Under his reign he forced out remake upon remake, incomplete games and/or ones badly thought-out. In doing so Atari having a near monopoly over the market ended up flooding it with horrible games, nearly killing the game industry in 1983. Which in 1985 was resurrected by a company using the name Nintendo. References. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_American_video_game_crash_of_1983 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ray_Kassar

frano911
frano911

screw this garbage i have 3 cod's...2 of them are garbage...WAW and MW2 im not going to waste my time with this bs.. what happened to this series..pathetic anybody wanna join me in Battlefeild Bad Company?

Stan920
Stan920

Why in gods name would they make a MMO of COD?? Its multiplayer now. making it MMO will keep the stream of cash flowing for them i guess,but im not buying into a mmo of any kinda war game and im not going to pay for weapons of any kind. Is that what you guys want?? to pay for weapons? Theses companys what to squeeze every last little pennies we have along with the cabe companys,phone companys,elect companys,the goverment wants more taxes payed. I for one have had it my fellow shooters

manga777
manga777

COD IS DEAD they are just trying to use the name to get a few extra bucks before people realize it

camokool23
camokool23

COD seems to be getting a bit silly(well devolopers).. even know MW2 is the biggist game... There just pushing it to far... aswell they could of atleast made Cod better for wii befor they disapointed every one, to the point of extintion.... eg. my Next door neighbour was so exited to get this for christmas but the next day he said that it was really boring.

brownboyd
brownboyd

dont care about cod anymore... mw2 has been a big disappointment... campaign was so short and all rushed & chaotic... getting from point a to point b with waves and waves of enemies pouring on you... didnt even feel like a campaign... felt like the campaign was made too short and get people to finish it quickly and get them onto the online multiplayer asap... i bought it on day 1 and been disappointed with it... will probably trade it for ff13 or gow3... def. not gonna buy another cod again... just my opinion...

advanracer
advanracer

- BOYCOTT ALL ACTIVISION PRODUCTS -

14monkey
14monkey

well i am seeing a bright side to this mw2 has a higher chances to on the wii YEAH since iw won't sue treyarch if the do it

Oneal14
Oneal14

boycott acti a gay booth at e3 and dont buy they're games thats how you stop a company like that mw2 is the last act a gay game I will buy

lilvizz
lilvizz

so no dlc 4 mw2 or wat

2point5RSman
2point5RSman

Do gaming a favor, don't buy these games.

100starz
100starz

RIP CoD: 2003-2009 RIP CoD games with honest developers that intend to please gamers: 2003-2008

athenian29
athenian29

There goes the neighborhood. :lol: RIP Call of Duty: 2003-2009 This franchise is done getting milked - now it's getting mugged and hung out to dry.

jtark31
jtark31

Firing those IW guys could be the worst busies move over! I know so many people who only play IW Call Of Duty games.

Soapweed
Soapweed

This just screams of fail. I love COD, but this is getting out of hand.

Get_Shorty
Get_Shorty

Well they're sueing Activison for royalties -- how can the rest of IW now feel safe about their jobs and not feel resentment toward Activison and really feel like giving Activison a good product anymore. Good-bye old CoD seriies and hello crappy knock offs.

aaronfhff123
aaronfhff123

Also do you IW fanboys really thingk 3 acts cuts it for a campaign??? MW2 must be the 1st cod game you ever played to think that is acceptable. Treyarch rules!!!!!

aaronfhff123
aaronfhff123

Ps: I fi shoot somebody in the face with a magnum I want to see a hole in their head. THe last COd game W@W had that feauture...why didnt IW embrace that feature in their game. Also a barett 50 cal is more than capbable of tearing somebodies limbs off. MW2=Fail. I will be playing W@W till treyarch makes another masterpiece.

aaronfhff123
aaronfhff123

Iw made the horrid MW2 ...short campaign and NO bullet wounds or gore that made Treyarchs COD W@W so satifying. MW2 was an expansion of MW not a sequal...IW has their fans fulled and brainwashed by hype and good marketing. F**** IW.