By Alec Meer on January 21st, 2011 at 12:52 pm.
Oh look, another headline with a question mark in the title. That’s journamalisming for you. Can we have some less ambiguous news now please?
So – Black Ops 2, World At War 2, Modern Warfare 3 or some other two to three word summation of conflict? Until now, we had no idea what this year’s Call of Duty game would be. We also had no idea there would be another Call of Duty game this year. It just seemed so very unlikely that this series would continue. Apparently it will, despite catastrophically low sales, rock-bottom reviews and perennially empty servers. Whouldathunkit. The LA Times thinks it knows what’s up. Modern Warfare 3 it is, allegedly. So who’s making it?
While a vast chunk of Modern Warfare studio Infinity Ward fled to form Respawn when their bosses Vince Zampella and Jason West were escorted off Activision’s premises, Infinity Ward still exists. That means Activision can have it make the frankly inevitably Modern Warfare 3 for them, but apparently they need a spot of help.
That allegedly comes in the form of two other Activision studios, Sledgehammer (reportedly working on their own COD) and Raven (who’ve been terribly quiet since the reasonable Singularity was released to little or no fanfare, though rumour is they pitched in with Black Ops too). The latter’s specifically working on the multilplayer, allegedly. Allegedly, allegedly, allegedly, allegedly, agoddarnedllgedly.
So there’s that. Modern Warfare 3? I don’t think there’ll be too many gasps of astonishment somehow. Oh, I can’t wait to see how that cliffhanger about those blokes being in that situation because of that completely incoherent thing that other bloke did is resolved. Might be nice to see Price again though, as long as they take him back to being a stoic soldier/father figure rather than that unconvincing Cockney philosopher MW2 made him into.
And what of West and Zampella/Respawn? Well, despite having a game in the works with EA they may be speeding towards a tough time of things, as Activision’s stepping up its counter-suit against them. EA’s being pointed at sternly too, with Activision alleging the pair had colluded with its long-time rival to mess up assorted COD plans and ultimately jump ship. The latest claim, via leaked emails, is that W&Z (or WeeZey from now on) allegedly agreed to delay the release of the Stimulus Pack DLC for MW2 so that EA had a chance to get Battlefield Bad Company DLC out first.
Says the apparent internal mail from EA marketing boss Lincoln Hershberger, the man with the most American name in the world, “A couple months ago, I asked Vince to hold back their map pack until after we launched (he owes me one). Given that they’ve already made a billion, he was cool with that, obviously Kotick took it as being belligerent.”
EA’s Jeff Brown told Gamasutra it’s a big fat bag of nonsense. “This was obviously sarcasm. It’s clear from the email this was a joke and they never spoke. We explained this to lawyers at Activision – who apparently don’t have much of a sense of humor.”
Activision want $400m from EA for their alleged skullduggery with WeeZey. If the court rules in their favour: Jesus Christ, basically.