According to multiple sources, Call of Duty will be taking a different development route this year. Activision made the announcement that Sledgehammer Games will no longer be in charge of the next COD in 2020. Instead, Treyarch will take on its second game in three years to make Call of Duty: Black Ops 5.
Since the release of Advanced Warfare in 2014, Call of Duty has been a part of a three-year development cycle. That cycle included Infinity Ward, Treyarch, and Sledgehammer. However, though they just released WW2 last year, Sledgehammer is reportedly “a mess.”
With the tension between Sledgehammer and Raven Software paired with studio head Michael Condrey leaving, it’s no surprise the studio is having difficulties. Apparently, mass amounts of employees followed Condrey to his new job at 2K, leaving the studio in shambles.
In regards to their development of the 2020 Call of Duty, all of their progress will be handed over to Treyarch for Black Ops 5.
This certainly is a bombshell for the Call of Duty community. While the potential for another Black Ops game is great, the entangled development could severely hurt the game.
For the past year or so, Sledgehammer has been supposedly working on a Cold War-inspired game for 2020. As it is far too late to start from scratch, Treyarch will take whatever progress is left and work from there.
Although, even with a slight head start, this will be no easy feat. There’s no telling what state the Sledgehammer game is currently in. Though, it is reported that the Cold War setting will be used for the Black Ops 5 campaign. It would be Treyarch’s first campaign since Black Ops 3.
No matter the development situation, this is a monumental order for Treyarch. With working on Black Ops 4 and having to speed up their development of Black Ops 5, they’ll have their work cut out for them. Hopefully, they can salvage whatever’s left and deliver a quality title.
While all of this is happening right now, Black Ops 5 is still a year and a half away. The next Call of Duty game, which hasn’t even been announced, is launching in five-to-six months.
Even though there’s nothing confirmed for COD 2019, we have multiple sources repeating the same thing. Modern Warfare 4 game is almost certainly the next title in the franchise. Although, Activision has yet to announce any kind of reveal.
Also coming in from various reports is the notion that COD 2019 will explore free-to-play elements. While this could hint at COD: Mobile, it most likely means that Activision is overhauling its pricing models. Microtransactions and different game modes like Blackout, DLC, etc. could take on some different looks if these reports are in fact true.
There will be more news coming about Call of Duty coming soon, so make sure to stay tuned to Daily Esports for that coverage!
Joey Carr is a University of North Georgia Journalism graduate. He has 5+ years of experience covering esports and traditional sporting events, including Dreamhack Atlanta, Call of Duty Championships 2017, and Super Bowl 53.