Call of Duty Moving to a 3-Year Development Cycle, Sledgehammer Games Working on This Year’s Title

When you have a franchise as big as Call of Duty, it puts a strain on the developers to put out a new title every two years, as Activision had done in the past with Treyarch and Infinity Ward.

During their earnings call today, Activision announced that Call of Duty would now be on a 3-year development cycle, with Sledgehammer Games working on the 2014 Call of Duty release. This then means we’ll probably see the 2015 Call of Duty title done by Treyarch, with Infinity Ward’s next Call of Duty in 2016.

The Founders of Sledgehammer Games, Michael Condrey and Glen Schofield, posted this on the studio’s blog shortly after the announcement:

Five years ago, we started on the most exciting journey of our careers. Sledgehammer Games was built around a singular goal – to create world-class interactive entertainment that entertains millions of fans around the world. We have a passion for creating games and a team dedicated to achieving excellence in everything that we do.

Having the honor of developing the new, next generation of Call of Duty is a developer’s dream come true. All of us here at Sledgehammer Games have a shared vision to create the best work of our lives. The next Call of Duty represents a new era for this amazing franchise, and we look forward to sharing what we have been working on.

Today is just the beginning, there is so much more to come!

Getting back to the earnings call (via Gamasutra), it was confirmed that Ghosts will be added to the Call of Duty franchise as a “sub-brand”, like Black Ops and Modern Warfare are (Sledgehammer looks to be working on the next Modern Warfare, according to Superannuation).

Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg revealed how the 3-year dev cycle will give each studio “more time to focus on DLC and micro-DLC,” and “more time to polish.”

Hirshberg continued:

Looking forward to 2014, as both Bobby [Kotick] and I have said, we have a superlative game in the works, and that we have some new approaches this year that we think are going to be very positive with the three-year development cycle — with the injection of some new creative leadership from some very talented folks at Sledgehammer Games, and we think that the 2014 game is going to be one of, if not the best, Call of Duty game ever.

Do you think this is the smartest thing Activision could have done with the Call of Duty franchise? Let us know in the comments below.