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Sledgehammer To Make New  Call Of Duty , Activision Reorganizes Franchise
Sledgehammer To Make New Call Of Duty, Activision Reorganizes Franchise
March 2, 2010 | By Chris Remo

March 2, 2010 | By Chris Remo
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    19 comments
More: Console/PC



Activision announced that Sledgehammer Games, an internal studio founded by former Visceral Games (Dead Space) leadership, will develop the next Call of Duty game, and the publisher confirmed the departure of Infinity Ward founders Vince Zampella and Jason West.

Sledgehammer was formed last year by Glen A. Schofield and Michael Condrey, the executive producer and senior development director of Dead Space. The pair remains at the studio's helm under Activision's new plan.

Sledgehammer's appointment as a steward of the multi-billion-dollar military shooter franchise allows Activision to maintain the series' yearly release schedule. Longtime series co-developer Treyarch will release its own Call of Duty game this year, with Sledgehammer's version slated to follow by 2012.

In an Activision statement, neither game had the Modern Warfare brand attached. The only mention of the Infinity Ward-specific sub-franchise was to clarify that the studio is still working on two map packs for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 due this year.

Call of Duty will now be managed under its own Activision business unit intended to foster "various new brand initiatives." The company says it plans to focus heavily on "high-margin digital online content" and spread the Call of Duty name across multiple genres, in an attempt to reproduce the level of global reach enjoyed by Blizzard's successful franchises such as WarCraft.

That unit will be run by Activision Publishing Asia Pacific head Philip Earl. With the forced departure of Zampella and West, Infinity Ward itself will be temporarily led up by CTO Steve Pearce and production head Steve Ackrich, both of whom hail from Activision Publishing as well.

"2010 will be another important year for the Call of Duty franchise," said Activision Publishing president Mike Griffith in a statement. "In addition to continued catalog sales, new downloadable content from Infinity Ward and a new Call of Duty release, we are excited about the opportunity to bring the franchise to new geographies, genres and players."


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Comments


Benjamin Quintero
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void ActivisionMain(void)

{

while( true )

{

if( success > 100M ) give( moreMoney() );

else if( success > 1B ) kill( exploit( saturate( control( getFranchise() ) ) ) );

else kill( getFranchise() );

}

}

Alan Rimkeit
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I like that Ben. It is a good way of saying it.

ken sato
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I don't think your code is 'thread safe'.



In any case I wouldn't sell Sledgehammer short.



Having worked on CoD, I can only feel bad for all parties involved.

[User Banned]
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This user violated Gamasutra’s Comment Guidelines and has been banned.

Travis LeBlanc
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Great way for Activision to ruin Call of Duty..

Thomas Lo
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THey've alreayd try to nickel and dime the franchise by alternating developers on successive versions of COD. They are running scared. COD is the only reason Activision was able to merge with blizzard. It's library sucks without it. And COD is not based on a license like Madden. Heck even perrennial breadwinners like Tony Hawk crashed because of declining quality.



Activision better be glad it pulled an AOL and merged with a better company in Blizzard.

Scott Jordan
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remember when activision used to make games?



...and not "various new brand initiatives." and "high-margin digital online content"

Erik Carlson
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This is setting up the perfect world where the Blizzard management takes over Activision and it becomes the "absurdly polished derivitive games" publisher instead of the publisher of evil.

Alan Rimkeit
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@Erik:



Sort of how Pixar took over Disney. That would be a good thing. But Kotick as to leave before such a thing happens just like Eisner had to leave Disney. Good bye Eisner and good riddance.

R G
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I'm already ready to blow up the Dea-er-Activision base, sir.



Good, good. Now, we'll need to dispatch of the Dark Lord himself,



Darth Kottick

Bryan OHara
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Another reminder that (most of) this industry is still a business at the end of the day.

[User Banned]
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This user violated Gamasutra’s Comment Guidelines and has been banned.

[User Banned]
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This user violated Gamasutra’s Comment Guidelines and has been banned.

Andrew Dobbs
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Vote with your dollars and your play time. The last Call of Duty I played was Modern Warfare, and CoD has been a series I've really enjoyed. I'm just not going to pay 60 bucks for a variation on what I just finished playing.



Another thought...if Infinity Ward isn't safe, then is Blizzard? Is Bioware safe or has it already changed?

Fiore Iantosca
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"Another reminder that (most of) this industry is still a business at the end of the day. "



EXACTLY

Mark Harris
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From the outside this looks... ugly. We're not privy to what happened behind closed doors, so I'm reserving judgment for now.

Keith Ferguson
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@dave,



Right on, man. I think people forget how young this industry is--the big names now aren't going to be the big names ten years from now. They have no pedigree, they have no right to sit in the throne. Haven't you guys grasped the potential of these games yet? Two, three million copies sold is a big deal? Give me a break! We'll be crying over numbers like that before you know it.

Mark Timmins
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Mr and Mrs John Doe don't really care how many games get pimped out by Activision under the CoD name. John Doe Jr. wants it and thats all that matters at the end of the day. 99.9% of people who buy the game will probably never read about what goes on in making the games.

Dan Thompson
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none
 
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