No, no, don't be silly. Activision has named Sledgehammer Games as the third Call of Duty studio, joining Treyarch and creator Infinity Ward. More "DLC and micro DLC".
That's why this is really happening, reveals Activision's Eric Hirshberg. Full game releases are nice and all, but the add-ons are the sweet spot.
"There are several advantages to doing this," said Hirshberg. "This first is of course quality; this will give our designers more time to envision and to innovate for each title." Expect more Michael Bay inspired booms and extra 'Merica-saves-the-day style of writing crammed into that extra year.
"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. Finally, it'll give our teams more time to polish, making sure that we relive the best possible experience to our fans each and every time."
Sledgehammer is no stranger to the Call of Duty series having been in a support role with Infinity Ward's Modern Warfare 3, giving the staff exodus at the time over the Zampella/West blow-up.
"Sledgehammer is a triple-A studio built from the ground-up around prudent talent with a 90-plus-rated pedigree both in studio leadership and throughout the organization," commented Hirshberg. "They demonstrated their skill on Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, and on their past high-rated games. They're the perfect choice to support our new approach and bring fresh ideas and creativity to this great franchise, and to raise the bar for next-gen games overall."
Sledgehammer has already begun a recruitment drive in earnest to beef up for their Call of Duty project. Will that extra year for each studio give them a chance to keep things fresh for the Medal of Honor-killer? Hopefully it won't just mean more multiplayer map packs, but actually more inventive storytelling and game mechanics.
Call of Duty moving to three-year cycle, Sledgehammer named third studio
07 February 2014 | By Simon Priest