You’d Better Call (Of Duty) The Sledgehammer (Games)

Ghosts, yesterday.

Call of Duty has long shared development duties between multiple studios. Most obviously, it’s operated under a two-year schedule, with series creators’ Infinity Ward and Treyarch taking it in turns to work out which national monuments to make fall over. You might be less aware of the other studios who pitch in each year, including Raven Software, Nerversoft and Sledgehammer Games.

As reported by IGN, an Activision investor call mentioned that Sledgehammer are now working on a Call of Duty all of their own. That was already known, but it makes it official that Call of Duty is switching to a three-year development cycle.

The quote in the IGN story isn’t credited to any particular individual, but the amorphous corporate entity known as Activision apparently said that, “There are several advantages to doing this, the first is, of course, quality. This will give our designers more time to envision and to innovate.”

Maybe one national monument could fall down and, like, crash into another national monument? I don’t know if that’s possible though. I imagine Call of Duty’s developers have dispatched their top people to Netflix, to check whether Roland Emmerich has any new movies out.

In seriousness, I find occasional enjoyment within the narrow corridors of Call of Duty’s loud, jingoistic first-person shooting. Having three years to make each entry seems like a good idea, especially given the series’ recent stagnation and worse.

It’s expected that Treyarch’s game will hit in 2015, with Infinity Ward’s to follow in 2016. By 2020, there’ll be only a few game studios left who aren’t trapped within the eternally swirling vortex of burnt-out cars and LZ-defence missions that encompasses Call of Duty game development.

Hey! An eternally swirling vortex. Now there’s an idea for a Call of Duty mission.


  1. CookPassBabtridge says:

    “In seriousness, I find occasional enjoyment within the narrow corridors of Call of Duty’s loud, jingoistic first-person shooting. ”

    THATS IT RPS have sold out Doritos deals are the next step I’m going over to the Daily Mail gaming column at least they have integrity and maybe don’t exist THUS MAKING THEM IMMUNE TO SELLING OUT

    • SominiTheCommenter says:

      Liking COD games is being literally worse than Hitler.
      Hitler didn’t like those games, why should you?

    • uh20 says:

      the gaming column IS doritos ads

  2. zachforrest says:

    Wasn’t it weird that Phil Collins turned out to sing just like Peter Gabriel?

    (ps Neversoft int it?)

    • Synesthesia says:

      It’s quite remarkable. I wish he’d have stayed behind the drums, though.

  3. Alexander says:

    Maybe by 2020 they’ll have Valve working on the CoDs. And then DICE.

    • Shooop says:

      Have you been away for a while? DICE already has. They just call it Battlefield 3 and 4.

      • Alexander says:

        No, you’re just being mean. Battlefield is still a bit ahead and is still not an annual release. If they’ll keep this up, I don’t know.

        • Vin_Howard says:

          “still not an annual release”

          But the thing is, now even CoD games will have more development time than Battlefield.

          In any case, anyone who develops games that are designed with an expiration date (so both CoD and BF) should be cast into the deepest pits of hell.

          • Smoky_the_Bear says:

            Yep this annual release garbage needs to die a death. EA’s obsession with it for BF4 is undoubtedly the reason for the borked launch that game had, just let dev teams create something rather than pressuring them to release on a certain date, the resulting factor being pretty much just a rehash of the previous game because they don’t have the time to create anything new.

          • raggnarok says:

            Modern Warfare 2 was my favourite, next to MW1. However, since they made it a game with an expiration date, they made it crap. No dedicated servers = colossal ammounts of lag and host problems = bad gunplay every now and then. No further support for bug fixing or tweaks to the gameplay = people complaining and crying about it = people leaving.
            Last one doesn’t really matters, since everyone was already gonna leave after the next title got released. Which is sad.
            MW2, as said, was my favourite of the bunch. Best graphic to performance ratio (kinda pretty graphics with not that much power needed), good gameplay improvements (although needed a few tweaks here and there), nice ost and sounds overall, story was ok I guess, multiplayer was awesome (would have been awesome if it was more like cod4 and had better support and so on).
            In short, it was my favourite game, and imo, had the most potential of them all. And they killed it.
            Then came black ops which was nice but lacked something, then came MW3 which was the most horrible multiplayer experience I’ve ever played coupled with horrid graphics (the most horrible maps I’ve ever seen in my life) and by then I quit buying cod games. Black ops 2 seemed ok, and ghosts seems horrible.
            I miss the cod-like kind of gaming, specially MW2, but I certainly am not gonna cough up 60€ for something as horrible as the CoD games of today.

    • Swanny says:

      YES! Dice would make a great beta version…

  4. BarryK says:

    Poor Raven, what have they done to you :'(

  5. Shooop says:

    This is not good news, it’s what they were already doing anyway.

    link to

    They have three factories, and are going to make sure each one craps out a “game” every year in order.

    • Smoky_the_Bear says:

      It actually could be good in a roundabout way if they are allowing these studios an extra year to make their games, we might actually see something new and fresh from one of the COD releases. Its not like people are forced to buy all 3, it’s also not like there will be any more COD releases, still one a year.

      • Shooop says:

        Because they’re not changing anything at all, you’re not going to see anything different. This is what Activision has been doing for years – having different teams working on additions to the franchise so they can vomit out one a year. And in those years we haven’t seen a single monotony-breaking game from any of them.

        Therefore it’s a very safe bet that this changes nothing – because nothing’s actually changed.

        • hungrycookpot says:

          except that it has… each studio now has 3 years instead of 2. That’s 1 more, 50% greater, half again as much. I don’t know how else to illustrate this. No, apples have not changed into oranges, but what were you expecting? Game development takes game developers developing games, that’s what every developer does, that’s what CoD takes, and they’ll have to keep doing that to keep making them.

  6. Ergates_Antius says:

    Oh My God! Somebody killed Bono. And his clone.

  7. tormos says:

    Maybe this is actually a good thing? I mean, I feel like a large part of why CoD has been stuck on the same endless treadmill for the last several editions has been that the developers had no time to do anything other than pretty up the graphics a little bit. Maybe if they have 2 years to devote to “newer, prettier skyboxes” they’ll be able to spend the next one on “gameplay updates more significant than dog”?

    • drewski says:

      More likely they’ll just spend 50% longer on the skyboxes.

    • Smoky_the_Bear says:

      I hope this is their thinking. Give Infinity Ward an extra year to develop their next game so they can maybe make something that isn’t a total rehash. Regardless of what it’s become MW1 was a great game, if they can make the next gen version of that i’d actually buy a COD game for the first time in about 8 years.
      I think this maybe a reaction to the relative failure of Ghosts not being the “next gen” COD that it was supposed to be, maybe they realised they need to give these dev teams more time.

    • ThricebornPhoenix says:

      I suspect that Activision views CoD as an immensely profitable Jenga tower. It’s going to fall over eventually, and it’s gotten pretty big already, but its demise can be delayed for maximum profit by making only the subtlest possible movements.

      If that is the case, more development time won’t lead to significant gameplay changes. They probably considered the dog a risky move.

  8. OscarWilde1854 says:

    Whether or not it ends up being good… I’m at least excited for a different studio to make their own game.. maybe they’ll make some “significant” changes… I’d love a complete overhaul of the gameplay. Basically just have sledgehammer make a brand new game with the CoD label and the ENORMOUS budget!