The ongoing disturbance at Activision’s Modern Warfare studio has left the publisher with a plummeting workforce but a strong brand in Infinity Ward.
Yet an analyst has come out to suggest that the studio will soon close, with the Modern Warfare franchise moving to other studio brands.
Janco Partners’ Mike Hickey has issued a notice that speculates: “Continued defections from Infinity Ward have created meaningful uncertainty around the future of their Call of Duty: Modern Warfare franchise."
[TIMELINE - INFINITY-GATE]
The note adds: “We expect Infinity Ward studio will be essentially closed after their next map pack release, with development work on Modern Warfare 3 spread between two studios not historically tied to the franchise.”
The notice echoes recent claims made by a purported Infinity Ward insider, who said "Infinity Ward as you know it is dead [...] and it will continue to crumble. There are a lot more veterans who are definitely going to leave."
Plans for the inevitable Modern Warfare 3 project are, for now, thought to remain with Infinity Ward.
Activision has confirmed that a 2011 Call of Duty game 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.
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".