Sledgehammer Games formed under Activision's auspices in 2009, and it became apparent quite quickly that the studio would be working on the publisher's massively popular Call of Duty franchise. However, much confusion has surrounded the nature of Sledgehammer's project, with it initially billed as an action adventure, only to later take on the appearance of a first-person shooter.
Now, an explanation for that confusion appears to have surfaced, courtesy of the Los Angeles Times. According to the newspaper's online blog, Sledgehammer Games, along with Raven Software, is assisting Infinity Ward on the development of the as-yet-unannounced Modern Warfare 3. The LA Times goes on to note that the assist has caused Sledgehammer to delay the start of its own COD spin-off, which is rumored to fall within the sci-fi genre.
Though Infinity Ward handled the two original billion-dollar-grossing Modern Warfare games on its own, the studio's future was called into question after the high-profile firings of former CEO Vince Zampella and president Jason West. The studio also reportedly lost more than 30 developers in the fallout of that controversy, which has spawned numerous lawsuits. Activision has also insisted that the drama has not affected Infinity Ward's capabilities.
As for specifics, Sledgehammer is reportedly "equally sharing duties" with Infinity Ward on Modern Warfare 3's single-player mode. Raven Software, which had previously been attached to the Call of Duty franchise in a downloadable-content creating capacity, is said to be handling Modern Warfare 3's multiplayer mode. The LA Times' sources indicate that Modern Warfare 3 will arrive in 2011, during the franchise's customary November window.
Activision had not returned a request for comment as of press time.