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Treyarch to develop Call of Duty: Black Ops 5 for 2020 with SHG and Raven to support

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A new bombshell report has surfaced from Jason Schreier of Kotaku regarding Call of Duty’s 2020 release. He has reported that current in-development Call of Duty 2020 game is in “a mess” state, and Treyarch is taking over the development to bring Call of Duty: Black Ops 5 as the 2020 Call of Duty game.

Kotaku states that Activision informed the studios this week of the major change that the company is making to its plans, as Sledgehammer Games and Raven Software were still in development of the 2020 Call of Duty game.

 

It’s a significant shift for Activision’s massive first-person shooter franchise, which is one of the most lucrative video game series on the planet. Every fall for the past 15 years, Activision has put out a new Call of Duty game, supported by a stable of different developers who rotated duties as required. Since 2012, Activision has followed a three-year cycle for its three lead studios: Infinity Ward, Treyarch, and Sledgehammer. 

Kotaku reports that Sledgehammer Games and Raven Software will serve as support studios to work with Treyarch on bringing out the 2020 Call of Duty game. Raven Software was actually the lead development studio for the 2020 Call of Duty game with SHG supporting them. SHG and Raven have been working on a single player campaign for their 2020 game set in Cold War, and that is supposed to be the campaign for the new Black Ops game.

As part of their report, Kotaku sources told them that there was tension between Sledgehammer Games and Raven Software during the development of 2020 title. The studios kept arguing over the features of the 2020 title. The game was apparently a “mess.” Activision decided to step in and put Treyarch in charge of a new Black Ops project for 2020.

This will be the first time that Treyarch is making a Call of Duty game in the 2 year development cycle since the release of Black Ops 2 back in 2012. Since then, Treyarch’s Black Ops 3 and Black Ops 4 have been created in a 3 year development cycle.

Sledgehammer Games has been having a rocky time the last year, with co-founders Michael Condrey and Glen Schofield departing the company in 2018. The new studio leadership is under Aaron Halon. It was not clear what the studio planned to make after the Call of Duty: WWII season with the co-founders departing. Condrey has reportedly been recruiting Sledgehammer developers to his new 2K Studio and many developers have been leaving SHG over the past year.

Sledgehammer Games not making a fully fledged title for 2020 will be the first time the studio has missed three year release since 2014. SHG was founded in 2009 as an Activision studio and started their journey as co-developers of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 back in 2011 with Infinity Ward. After that, Activision transitioned Call of Duty to a three year development cycle with SHG, Treyarch, and Infinity Ward as the lead developers. SHG released Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare in 2014 and Call of Duty: WWII in 2017.

If this is the case, next year will see a new Black Ops game — marking the fifth title in the sub-series.

Activision has not confirmed this info and did not issue a statement.

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It smells similar to MW2 days with lots of key developers moving over to Respawn Entertainment. Condrey got a taste of Activision HQ, left a few months later, setup his own developer studio and core developers are jumping ship. Activision's micro management (and greed?) is slowly but surely killing the franchise. I wonder what games 2K Studio will bring to the market? Remember the whole outspokeness from Condrey about Treyarchs $20 skin (or was if $40?). Anyway interesting times ahead, and hopefully for the benefit of all gamers.

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Aw yeah I remember that huge falling out between Infinity Ward and Activision... Lots of companies don't seem to like being under Activision's thumb, I mean just look at Bungie. They recently became independent and cancelled their publishing deal with Activision...

Regarding Respawn... I always thought it was a shame that Titanfall was never given a huge push by EA because I personally thought it was awesome.

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