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Confirmed – Sledgehammer developing new Call of Duty for 2011 [Update]

Tuesday, 2nd March 2010 21:41 GMT By Johnny Cullen

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Update: It seems the Sledgehammer game is not the 2011 Call of Duty. It’s a totally seperate game from that. An unnamed developer will be handling what is coming that year.

Original Story: Activision’s just announced upstart Sledgehammer will develop a new Call of Duty title for release in 2011.

The firm’s also announced the layoffs of Vince Zampella and Jason West as co-heads of Infinity Ward, with the studio’s CTO, Steve Pierce and head of production, Steve Ackrich in charge until further notice.

“2010 will be another important year for the Call of Duty franchise,” said Acti CEO, Mike Griffith. In addition to continued catalog sales, new downloadable content from Infinity Ward and a new Call of Duty release, we are excited about the opportunity to bring the franchise to new geographies, genres and players.”

The company’s also announced a new business unit for the franchise that will be headed up by its current boss of the firm’s Asia offices Philip Earl.

This puts to rest speculation on what’s been going on today, from the intital rumour to the most recent report of a meeting between IW and Acti boss Bobby Kotick.

It also confirms rumours dating back to January, when sources told VG247 that Sledgehammer – found by former Visceral bosses Glen Schofield and Michael Condery – would be creating Modern Warfare 3, and not Infinity Ward.

PR below.

Activision Publishing Reveals New Plans for Call of Duty(R) Franchise
–Company to Establish Dedicated Business Unit to Focus on Product Excellence and Brand Expansion –Company Confirms New Call of Duty Game To Be Released in 2011 –Activision Publishing Plans to Launch Call of Duty in New Genres and Asia

SANTA MONICA, Calif., March 2, 2010 /PRNewswire via COMTEX News Network/ – Activision Publishing, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATVI) today announced new strategic plans for the Call of Duty(R) franchise, one of the best-selling video game franchises of all time.

The plans include the formation of a dedicated business unit that will bring together its various new brand initiatives with focused, dedicated resources around the world. The company intends to expand the Call of Duty brand with the same focus seen in its Blizzard(R) 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.

“2010 will be another important year for the Call of Duty franchise,” stated Mike Griffith, President and CEO of Activision Publishing. “In addition to continued catalog sales, new downloadable content from Infinity Ward and a new Call of Duty release, we are excited about the opportunity to bring the franchise to new geographies, genres and players.”

The company expects to release a new Call of Duty game from Treyarch this fall. In addition, Infinity Ward is in development on the first two downloadable map packs for Modern Warfare(R) 2 for release in 2010.

The company is also for the first time announcing that a new game in the Call of Duty series is expected to be released in 2011 and that Sledgehammer Games, a newly formed, wholly owned studio, is in development on a Call of Duty game that will extend the franchise into the action-adventure genre. Sledgehammer is helmed by industry veterans Glen A. Schofield and Michael Condrey. Prior to joining Activision Publishing, Schofield was the Executive Producer of the award-winning game, Dead Space and Michael Condrey was the Sr. Development Director on the game. The Dead Space franchise has won more than 80 industry awards worldwide including the prestigious A.I.A.S. Action Game of the Year and two B.A.F.T.A.S.

The Call of Duty business unit will be led by Philip Earl, who currently runs Activision Publishing’s Asia Pacific region and previously served in senior executive positions with Procter & Gamble and Nestle. Activision Publishing veterans Steve Pearce, chief technology officer and Steve Ackrich, head of production, will lead Infinity Ward on an interim basis. Jason West and Vince Zampella are no longer with Infinity Ward.

Lastly, Activision Publishing announced that the company 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.

Headquartered in Santa Monica, California, Activision Publishing, Inc. is a leading worldwide developer, publisher and distributor of interactive entertainment and leisure products.

Breaking news

21 Comments

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  1. Anthorne

    Wow!!!

    #1 4 years ago
  2. Michael O’Connor

    How convenient.

    #2 4 years ago
  3. Goliath

    Shit meets fan!

    #3 4 years ago
  4. dark_prince123

    RIP Infinty Ward

    #4 4 years ago
  5. onlineatron

    Wow… damn, so no more Infinity Ward at Activision?

    Or perhaps the reason for all this hoopla is that IW want to develop a new IP?

    #5 4 years ago
  6. Gekidami

    Well, these guys have yet to make anything so who knows what they’ll do with it.
    Though its worth pointing out that it dosnt say this’ll be MW3. Just another CoD game.

    #6 4 years ago
  7. onlineatron

    True, could be the rumoured CoD MMO style game?

    #7 4 years ago
  8. Aimless

    You have to think that EA’s MOH team are rubbing their hands in glee.

    Anyway, “high-margin digital online content” sounds fun, doesn’t it kids?

    #8 4 years ago
  9. rainer

    Guess this was planned by Activision for quite some time if they are working on a MW title.

    Also Gamasutru has a source with a sneaky move by Activision which could be the source of the insubordination charge;

    http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/27482/Analysis_Infinity_Wards_DoubleEdged_Sword.php

    “Another source with knowledge of the situation tells Gamasutra that although Infinity Ward is only about 75 developers strong, Activision brass demanded layoffs at the studio anticipating a refusal — which they received, potentially opening the door for Activision to use that refusal as a way to launch a breach suit that would help it escape its contract.”

    As only IW were allowed make Modern Warfare games if the contract was broken Activision could hand MW to another developer which could have been their plan all along.

    #9 4 years ago
  10. SunKing

    It’s suspected that it’s written into the contract that only IW can make MW3 and that they are digging their heels. So, they maybe trying to use legal shenanigans to get the contract changed, and the firing of staff are means to that end. Check out Gama’s article:

    http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/news_index.php?story=27482

    Edit: damn, rainer, beat me to it. ;)

    Also, the royalties overdue thing is erroneous.

    #10 4 years ago
  11. blackdreamhunk

    my words are so soild! they are never going to make back in the gaming market ever agin. Actvision screw them over just like they screw pc gamers over.

    Pc gamers will not support them even if they become Indie game devs

    ahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahah
    Didn’t Infinty ward say they love actvision

    Infinty ward has been warded! Satin the devil is very much real!

    god is great

    #11 4 years ago
  12. Superfrog

    “a Call of Duty game that will extend the franchise into the action-adventure genre”

    Action-adventure genre? WTF is this supposed to mean?

    Also, without its two co-founders Infinity Ward will sooner or later be merged with the Activision in-house studio melting pod or closed down altogether. I can’t see them go the Bungie way without its founders. RIP

    #12 4 years ago
  13. Freek

    Did they not learn anything from the Guitar Hero games? Spinning it off into endless sequals just runs the whole thing into the ground.

    #13 4 years ago
  14. onlineatron

    Who needs who more? Infinity Ward or Activision?….

    Silly Activision.

    #14 4 years ago
  15. Erthazus

    Don’t care.

    #15 4 years ago
  16. Alakratt

    MoH FTW!!!

    #16 4 years ago
  17. Jimaroid

    What are the odds?

    Call of Space Duty
    Call of Duty: Space Warfare
    War Duty: Modern Spacewar
    Dutifully Dead Call of Space

    #17 4 years ago
  18. AHA-Lambda

    WOAH!!!! What is happening to IW then especially if this was “planned” to get them out of contract for MW3?!?!

    Get your tin foil hats ready guys!

    #18 4 years ago
  19. The Juice707

    @bdh

    Just because IW stopped making games exclusively for the PC doesn’t mean they screwed PC gamers over.

    @RGW

    You are certainly quick to stand behind the reboot of the MoH franchise. Let’s hope you don’t have to eat your words. I predict your response will be something like “Either way, it could never be as kiddy noobish as MW so it is automatically better.” Did I hit the mark?

    #19 4 years ago
  20. Daodan

    Good lord, let this franchise die out already.

    #20 4 years ago
  21. Blerk

    Just… wow! Activision really is Satin’s own publishing arm. :-D

    #21 4 years ago