We recently shared a Kotaku report in which the publication revealed that tensions between Sledgehammer Games and Raven Software have led Activision to hand over Call of Duty 2020 to Treyarch. The studio will now transform Sledgehammer and Raven’s work into Call of Duty: Black Ops 5.
In the same report, writer Jason Schreier mentioned that despite selling well, Black Ops 4 didn’t quite earn the kind of revenue Activision executives were hoping to see, prompting the publisher to consider adding a free-to-play component to this year’s title – the long-rumored Modern Warfare 4. Perhaps Activision has been taking notes from Apex Legends and Titanfall publisher, Electronic Arts.
“Internally, Activision executives have started to talk about embracing free-to-play as a revenue model and, three sources say, are looking into offering a free-to-play component for this year’s new Modern Warfare,” wrote Schreier, adding that nothing is set in stone yet and that there’s some resistance to the idea within Activision.
Historically, the publisher hasn’t been receptive to the free-to-play model so if it materializes, a Call of Duty with free-to-play elements will be quite a departure from Activision’s traditional stance.
Black Ops 4, which embraced battle royale and came without a campaign for the first time in the series, earned $500 million during its three-day launch weekend. The game’s earnings surpassed previous titles, including Black Ops 3.
However, during an earnings call in February 2019, Activision indicated that Black Ops 4 fell short of the company’s expectations because it wasn’t able to sustain the revenue stream the publisher had forecasted, especially during the fourth quarter of 2018. Shortly afterwards, Activision Blizzard announced that it was laying off eight percent of its work force (around 800 employees) worldwide.
Activision has declined to comment on Kotaku’s report.
We’ll update our readers as this story develops. In the meantime, share your thoughts on the report with us below.