Call of Duty becomes a three-studio franchise

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Call of Duty threesome

There are only three things in life that are a certainty, and that’s death, taxes and a new Call of Duty every year. For the last couple of years, Treyarch and Infinity Ward have taken turns releasing a Call of Duty game every two years. And now, that threesome just added another partner.

Activision Blizzard recently held their fourth quarter and calendar 2013 report (Via VG247), where it was confirmed that Sledgehammer Games would be the third studio to work on a Call of Duty title, with the franchise sticking to an annual release pattern.

With a third studio on board, this now means that each Call of Duty game will have roughly three years development time, up from the usual two year. Sledgehammer is in fact working on the 2014 Call of Duty, which Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick  gushed about, saying that it will be “one of if not the best” Call of Duty games ever made.

It doesn’t even matter how good the game is at this point, because Call of Duty is still a license to print cash for Activision Blizzard. While worldwide sales may have dipped, the series still has a strong presence in its homeland of the USA, with Ghosts being the best-selling game of 2013.

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Honestly, I still feel that the franchise needs a break. The problem with Call of Duty, is that it can’t change the core format too much, or the market that actually does invest in a new game every year will be sending out childish death threats once again.

A three year development cycle is a good show of faith, but as for how much polish you can add to a COD game, that remains to be seen. And out of those three studios, Treyarch is still clearly leading when it comes to creating a quality single-player and multiplayer game. And dammit, I don’t want to wait three years for their COD to arrive.

Last Updated: February 7, 2014

Darryn Bonthuys

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