According to a new report from Kotaku, next year's Call of Duty is going through a major upheaval, with publisher Acitivision deciding to take Raven and Sledgehammer Games off as lead developers, and will hand off the 2020 installment to Treyarch, who will close out the PS4, Xbox One, and PC generation with Call of Duty: Black Ops 5. As you may know, the Call of Duty franchise is supported by three developers: Infinity Ward, Treyarch, and Sledgehammer. Each year, the studios trade off the series, which means each gets three years to make a new one. In 2017, Sledgehammer shipped Call of Duty: World War II. In 2018, it was Treyarch's turn with Black Ops 4. This year, Infinity Ward is up to bat with what looks like Modern Warfare 4. And so for 2020, it was supposed to be Sledgehammer's turn, but for the first time in over a decade, Activision is breaking this model and tapping Treyarch back in.
According to Kotaku's soruces, Call of Duty 2020 was actually being developed by both Sledgehammer and support studio Raven Software, and was going to be set during the Cold War, likely involving the Vietnam war.
Sledgehammer and Raven will continue to develop Call of Duty 2020, but only as support studios. Treyarch will lead development. A lot of the game's campaign has already been built, but will now be transformed into a Black Ops 5 campaign. Kotaku also notes the game will likely be a cross-gen release, hitting the PS4, PS5, Xbox One, next Xbox, and PC all at once.
As for how Treyarch feels about this, it's a mixed bag. Some developers aren't happy they will have less time than normal and will be working presumably longer and harder hours. Meanwhile, some are happy to return to the core of Black Ops and feel like they have a great vision for a new one.
Meanwhile, Kotaku says the reason Call of Duty 2020 is changing hands is mostly because the project has been a mess. Raven and Sledgehammer are understood to be at odds over a lot of creative decisions, which has caused development issues. On top of that, Sledgehammer lost its leadership recently, and has been losing developers right and left to other studios.0comments
Of course, take this with a tiny grain of salt, because it's unofficial information, however, Kotaku has a history of reliable reporting and scoops.
As always, feel free to leave a comment letting us know what you think or hit me up on Twitter @Tyler_Fischer_ and let me know over there. What would you want to see from Black Ops 5?