Report has surfaced that Activision has handed over development duties for next year’s Call of Duty to Treyarch as tensions between Sledgehammer Games and Raven Software have left the project in a “mess.” According to Kotaku’s Jason Schreier, Activision apprised developers of the situation last week and has decided that Call of Duty 2020 will be Black Ops 5.
For those who aren’t aware of Call of Duty‘s development cycles, the titles have rotated between Treyarch, Infinity Ward, and Sledgehammer over the past 15 years, with Raven assisting development. The last Sledghammer title – WWII – released in 2017, followed by Treyarch’s Black Ops 4 in 2018. Call of Duty 2019, almost confirmed to be Modern Warfare 4, is being developed by Infinity Ward.
The original Call of Duty 2020 was reportedly set in Vietnam during the Cold War. Activision had bumped Raven up to a leading role in development alongside Sledgehammer, but now both studios will be supporting Treyarch instead.
Kotaku’s sources claim that Sledgehammer and Raven’s work on the single-player campaign will be transferred to Black Ops 5, which is going to be a cross-gen title, launching alongside the new PlayStation and Xbox consoles next fall. Black Ops 5 will now come with a campaign set during the Cold War.
In early 2018, Activision announced that Sledgehammer co-founders Michael Condrey and Glen Schofield would take on “new executive duties” within the publisher. Kotaku claims that the duo were in fact ousted from Sledgehammer. Condrey and Schofield later left Activision.
In November 2018, Schofield announced that he was taking time off to relax and planned to move on to something else. And earlier this year, Condrey announced that he had joined 2K Games to form a new studio. Since then, a number of Sledgehammer developers have left the studio to join Condrey’s new company.
Reasons behind the duo’s ousting from Sledgehammer are not known.
We’ll update our readers as this story develops.