It appears that there is a new development studio in Call of Duty‘s cycle. According to reports, Raven Software is set to start developing for Activision. Call of Duty is traditionally a three-studio cycle, but Activision recently made the decision to cut out Sledgehammer Games, makers of CoD: WW2. This left only Treyarch and Infinity Ward as the main developers for Call of Duty.
While that could have been foreseen, it was still a shock. The timing of this decision left Treyarch to turn right around after releasing Black Ops 4 and make another game in a year. However, though Treyarch will develop CoD 2020, it looks like a familiar face in Raven Software will come in 2021.
If you play Call of Duty, then you’re familiar with Raven Software’s work. Since Modern Warfare 3, this studio has aided the main development studios with more niche assignments. In Black Ops 3, they were responsible for porting the game to the old generation consoles. This year, they are reportedly in charge of the oft-rumored Battle Royale mode for Modern Warfare.
As they have always produced behind the scenes, Raven has never had the chance to take on a full title by themselves. However, with Sledgehammer now out of the cycle, it’s reported that Raven will take over the reins.
While there is nothing concrete, we have several hints and leaks regarding this report. For starters, trusted leaker TheGamingRevolution said back in July that it’s “super likely” Raven will join the CoD development cycle. TheGamingRevolution has yet to be wrong about any leak this year.
According to TGR, Raven and Sledgehammer will essentially swap places. Going forward, Raven will be a head development studio, while Sledgehammer will take on those niche assignments for the main studios.
TGR also claims that Raven is undergoing a test from Activision with Modern Warfare’s BR mode. Assuming they pull it off, Raven will most likely join Treyarch and Infinity Ward. The Battle Royale mode is supposedly coming in early 2020 as a free-to-play game.
To support this suspicion, Raven recently posted a job ad for a community manager. Both Treyarch and Infinity Ward have a community manager, so this could be very telling. That said, this could also just be in relation to the BR mode Raven is releasing for Modern Warfare. At any rate, here is the job description for the community manager:
Be instrumental in forging an even deeper relationship with our global community of players, as well as the day-to-day publication of social content across a multitude of communications platforms.
A community manager is largely in charge of being the middle man between the community and the developers. Raven likely wouldn’t need this job unless they were working on something big, as they haven’t needed one in the past. Whether this correlates to the Battle Royale mode or something else is unknown.
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Joey Carr is a University of North Georgia Journalism graduate. He has 4+ years experience covering Esports and traditional sporting events, including Dreamhack Atlanta, Call of Duty Championships 2017, and Super Bowl 53.