Sledgehammer pulled off of Call of Duty 2020; Will now be Black Ops 5
We’re usually aware of what we’re getting with the new Call of Duty at this point in the year either through leaks or official news… except we know next to nothing. Thanks to a new Kotaku report, we now know 2019’s new Call of Duty will be a new Modern Warfare and even know about next year’s title which is currently a “mess”.
For the better part of a decade, Call of Duty has been on a three-year development cycle. Every year, we’d get a new Call of Duty but it would come from one of three studios. Infinity Ward, Treyarch, and the new blood, Sledgehammer Games, would all rotate in and out and it seems the three-year dev cycle will be no more in 2020.
After Call of Duty: WWII, Sledgehammer went to work on Call of Duty 2020 with Raven. Raven has been assisting on Call of Duty games for years in a support role by doing a variety of things like making maps and making sure the teams in charge are able to ship a competent game on time.
Raven had been promoted to a leadership role alongside Sledgehammer, creating a dual-partnership for Call of Duty 2020 which was set to be during the Cold War and/or Vietnam. After a messy development that involved butting heads between Sledgehammer and Raven, Activison pulled the two off lead roles for 2020 and have moved up Treyarch’s Call of Duty a year ahead of schedule.
The 2020 Call of Duty will now be a new Black Ops game but Sledgehammer/Raven’s work will be transformed into a Cold War single-player campaign for the yet untitled Black Ops game. Fans will be delighted to hear there’s still a focus for single-player Call of Duty stories given Black Ops 4 seemed to indicate a shift towards multiplayer only going forward.
This will, however, put a lot of pressure on Treyarch. While they won’t need to deliver a campaign all by themselves, they will be having to do a quick turn around from Black Ops 4 to Black Ops 5. Given we usually hear about the new CoD in May, they have a year and a half starting from Black Ops 4’s release in October 2018 to be able to have something to show come next spring.
Add to the fact that Black Ops 5 will also reportedly be cross-gen and coincide with the launch of the next Xbox and the PlayStation 5, Treyarch is expecting brutal overtime but they have a roadmap to ensure there aren’t drastic changes throughout development.
Finally, Activision is also eyeing a free-to-play model for CoD going forward. This seemingly will be a second offering perhaps for just multiplayer in addition to the $60 retail release. This could come as soon as this year’s Modern Warfare title but details are still in flux and some executives are still incredibly hesitant to lock themselves into such a model for one of gaming’s biggest IP.
This could be abandoned or could be decided on in the coming weeks, only time will tell. We’ll be sure to keep you updated on both CoD 2019 and 2020’s development as we learn more.
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