Following a day of intense speculation surrounding Activision and Infinity Ward, the publisher has confirmed the departure of bosses Jason West and Vince Zampella from the successful studio – and a new developer for the record-breaking franchise.
2011’s Call of Duty release will be developed by newly formed studio Sledgehammer Games. The team will be fronted by Glen Schofield, the former executive producer of EA’s Dead Space, and Michael Condrey, who worked as senior development director on the same game.
[TIMELINE – INFINITY-GATE]
Activision has formed a new Call of Duty business unit to help grow the franchise, which will be lead by the company’s current Asia Pacific boss Philip Earl.
It also seems that the game won’t be an FPS. Instead, it will "extend the franchise into the action-adventure genre".
Meanwhile, the publisher’s chief technology officer Steve Ackrich will replace the now departed West and Zampella as head of Infinity Ward on an interim basis.
Treyarch’s Call of Duty title is still on track for release this year, and Infinity Ward continues its work on additional digital content for Modern Warfare 2.
“2010 will be another important year for the Call of Duty franchise,” Activision president and CEO Mike Griffith, stated.
“In addition to continued catalogue 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.”
Activision also confirmed its intentions to take the Call of Duty brand to the Asian market, and to increase its focus on “high-margin digital online content”.