Sources speaking to Kotaku‘s Jason Schreier confirm that next year’s Call of Duty is going through a major shakeup, as Activision informed current developers Raven and Sledgehammer that Treyarch is taking over responsibilities.
Over the last several years, there’s been rotation on Activision-owned studios working on the popular first-person series. Each game gets a three-year development cycle and Infinity Ward, Treyarch, and Sledgehammer would change out leadership roles in development. It’s been like this since 2012’s Call of Duty: Black Ops II.
Raven being the lead on next year’s Call of Duty with Sledgehammer supporting them seemingly became a cause for concern. Both studios are internally conflicting on the development process and tension between them is delaying work on next year’s entry. Now, things are changing and Activision is stepping in.
Activision, which posted a record year for 2018 is shaking up their established formula by removing Raven and Sledgehammer, replacing them with Treyarch as lead developer, relegating both studios to a supportive role in their game. According to sources speaking to Schreier, next year’s Call of Duty uses the Cold War as a setting and is developed as both a next-gen and current-gen title.
Also, the way things are at Activision, the higher-ups are looking at ways to shift to the free-to-play model seen in games like Apex Legends and Fortnite. Seeing the revenue streams those entries produces is likely why those sources on this subject confirm Activision is looking at the model, although are still hesitant to it.