COD5 invading 'new theater,' next 007 COD4-powered

Publisher confirms follow-up to Infinity Ward's modern-warfare shooter will have new setting on Xbox 360, PS3, PS2, Wii, and DS; COD4 engine to power next James Bond game, due this fall.

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Earlier today, Activision made known its dominance in the gaming industry, triumphantly proclaiming it had secured the top publisher slot in the US in terms of console and handheld software dollars. One of the crucial titles driving Activision's $2.9 billion windfall of annual revenue during its 2008 fiscal year was Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, the first contemporary installment in Infinity Ward's long-running first-person shooter series.

It goes without saying that Activision plans a new installment in the Call of Duty franchise during its 2009 fiscal year, which ends March 31, 2009. The publisher has released a new installment in the series every fourth quarter since the series launched in 2003. In today's earnings follow-up with analysts and investors, the publisher dished more details on the fifth Call of Duty game, first revealed in December.

"We'll launch on all four platforms we've participated on in fiscal [year] 2008," Activision Publishing CEO Mike Griffith referring to Call of Duty 4, which sold over 7 million units worldwide on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC, and Nintendo DS in 2007. Griffiths then reconfirmed that "we'll [also] launch on the PS2 and the Wii," marking the series' return to the PS2 and Wii after a two-year hiatus.

In addition to announcing new platforms, Activision also revealed that Call of Duty 5 would again shift the setting of the series. "We'll bring the intensity of the recent Call of Duty: Modern Warfare title to a new military theater to engage our significantly larger user base which nearly doubled last year as new users came into the franchise," said Griffiths. (Emphasis added.) Recent unconfirmed rumors had the series returning to World War II, the conflict in which all games prior to COD4 were set in. The publisher did not say if series creator Infinity Ward or Treyarch (Call of Duty 3, Spider-Man 3) was developing the project.

Speaking of Call of Duty 4, Activision also revealed today that the shooter's powerful game engine will power the new James Bond game. The yet untitled project, which is being developed by Treyarch, is set for release this fall around the same time as the next 007 film, The Quantum of Solace. Its use of the COD4 engine almost assures the game is in development for the PlayStation 3 and 360, and leaves the possibility of a PC version open.

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