Call of Duty Loses One of Its Most Respected Developers After Nearly 20 Years

David Vonderhaar is leaving Treyarch after making Call of Duty for nearly 20 years.

The Call of Duty franchise just lost one of its most well-known and respected developers, David Vonderhaar. Call of Duty is a series that has thousands of developers actively working on it. There are three core studios rotating every year to release their own new game, all with their own trademarks, flaws, and pros. It's a pretty important structure for Call of Duty and allows the series to constantly produce new games while also feeling somewhat varied between entries. These studios all have very key developers that help lead the direction of these various games and create guiding principals.

One of these people is David Vonderhaar, the now former Studio Design Director at Treyarch. He was a key figure on Treyarch's games and was seen as an instrumental piece of the puzzle on games like Call of Duty: Black Ops 2. Vonderhaar shocked the Call of Duty community today by announcing he was leaving Treyarch and Call of Duty behind after nearly 20 years on the franchise, opting to go work on an undisclosed game. Vonderhaar was seen as one of the key faces for Treyarch and was in constant communication with fans through social media. Vonderhaar was also visible within Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 as he was one of the soldiers that players could play as in multiplayer. 

"Thank you to the Call of Duty community for your passion and enthusiasm," said Vonderhaar in a statement on LinkedIn. "That energy has often fueled our determination as a studio and individuals. I will always be grateful for the opportunity to interact with so many of you directly online and in person. This energy will always be a massive part of me. I am staying in the games industry, working on an undisclosed project I can't discuss yet, but I am excited about a rare and unique opportunity. I'll update you as soon as possible."

Sledgehammer Games is leading the charge on this year's game which is Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. Treyarch is expected to have a new game next year, but is also helping develop a new zombies mode for this year's game. Rumors suggest Treyarch's next game will be a Black Ops game set in the 90s, dealing with the Gulf War.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 will release on November 10th.