Activision Hands Reigns of Call of Duty 2020 to Treyarch

Wyatt Fossett,

May 18, 2019 1:55 PM

Next year's Call of Duty game was supposed to be Sledgehammer's, but Activision is so unhappy with the development thus far, they've demoted them to support.

The Call of Duty truck is on fire, and Activision has called in Treyarch to right the ship ahead of 2020’s Black Ops title, taking the reigns away from Raven and Sledgehammer. Call of Duty -- one of the most profitable and lucrative video game franchises -- has become an annually released game.  

Someone (or a group of folk) was very unhappy with what they were seeing from the in-development Call of Duty set to release next year. So, a change of the lead as made, and it may change the future cycle of Call of Duty forever. 

Until now, Activision has had a three-headed hydra working behind the scenes on Call of Duty titles for almost a decade now. The three-year development cycle sees Treyarch at the lead one year, Infinity Ward the next, and Sledgehammer on the third before starting over again. 

In a report published on Kotaku by Jason Schreier, sources within the studios have confirmed that Treyarch will now be leading the 2020 Call of Duty title, demoting Sledgehammer from the role. Moving forward, this could change the way the publisher builds out its development cycle in the future. 

According to those sources, Raven and Sledgehammer will remain on the project as support studios, and their so-far constructed single-player campaign will be their focus for Black Ops 5. Some response from Treyarch employees isn’t super stoked about the move, spurring worry about “brutal overtime hours” on the horizon for their team now that they have one less year to develop their game. 

Sledgehammer has had a rough go of it the last few years, as it lost two of its founders, who then proceeded to poach employees for their new studio, and on top of it all the Sledgehammer and Raven relationship is apparently “a mess” according to insiders. 

Schreier also spoke about Black Ops 4 initially selling well, but falling off of the sales trends that all involved wanted from the title. Even with a Battle Royale mode, Black Ops 4 came to the world at a time disgustingly full of amazing gaming experiences, and another Call of Duty game would just not stand out after only a few months. 

Interestingly, this move to two developers on cycle may make things far better for the future of Call of Duty Esports, which is on the verge of launching their city-based franchise league next year. Better relationships and more consistency will only do justice to a pro league that the brand will no doubt be putting a ton of money behind. 

We will have to wait until Call of Duty 2020 to see how this decision shakes out. Twin Galaxies will continue to update on this evolving story as more comes to light.



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