A response to Ghosts’ luke-warm reviews and sales declines? Or a reaction to the increased development needs of next-gen?
Either way, Activision has changed it business model for the Call of Duty series by shifting the brand to a three-year development cycle.
There will still be a new Call of Duty game each year, but now each individual title will have three year’s development time behind it. This year’s game is being developed by Sledgehammer. It is presumed that Treyarch and Infinity Ward will be the other two studios on rotation.[Activision] needed a third studio capable of delivering the level of excellence required for the West’s biggest interactive entertainment franchise,” Activision publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg told investors, as reported by Joystiq.
Sledgehammer Games fits the bill. They demonstrated their skill on Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 and on their past highly-rated games.
"This will give our designers more time to envision and innovate for each title. Simultaneously, it will give our content creators more focus on DLC and micro-DLC which, as you know, have become large and high-margin opportunities and significant engagement drivers.
"We’ll give our teams more time to polish, helping ensure we deliver the best possible experience to our fans – each and every time."