Trouble Brewing For Call Of Duty 2020 As Treyarch Takes Lead

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4
Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 Treyarch Studios

It appears that not all is well for the Call of Duty game scheduled for release in 2020. In a report by Kotaku, Activision has apparently released both Sledgehammer Games and Raven Software from the project. Instead, the report mentioned Treyarch will now be in charge of developing the game. Considering the time available, however, Treyarch looks to be developing a new Black Ops instead of a Call of Duty game.

Since the launch of the first Call of Duty game in 2003, Activision has released a new game every year. Each game has generally been made by a different studio, rotated as needed. By 2012, the rotation included three lead studios under a three-year cycle.

Based on that rotation, the upcoming Call of Duty should be assigned to Sledgehammer, which has partnered with Raven. Kotaku disclosed that there is currently tension between the two studios, and frequent arguments have resulted in the project being a total mess. Activision's move means that the two studios now play a support role to Treyarch.

The upcoming Call of Duty game was supposed to be set during the Cold War. With the change, Treyarch is likely to convert their single-player story mode to a Black Ops 5 campaign, one that is also set in the Cold War era.

According to the same Kotaku report, the people at Treyarch are both excited and not pleased with what happened. On the one hand Treyarch now has a more solid game plan that is more concrete. However the downside is that they now only have two years to make the game instead of three. This means that Treyarch staff now need to prepare for overtime hours, similar to what happened with Black Ops 4.

The move by Activision is considered by analysts to be a surprise, especially since Black Ops 4 did not reach expectations despite reporting good earnings. The Kotaku report said that executives at Activision appear to be studying free-to-play as a possible revenue model, something that the publisher has avoided in the past.

It is also worth noting that things have not been easy as well at Sledgehammer. Back in 2018, Kotaku broke the story that studio founders Glen Schofield and Michael Condrey left. While it was initially reported that the two were taking on new duties, it wasn't long before the two eventually left. Condrey has since founded a new studio and has been recruiting Sledgehammer staff.

There has been no comment regarding the Kotaku report from Activision and the studios involved.

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