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Activision confirms all its core studios are now working on Call of Duty

Bullet Club

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Activision confirms all its core studios are now working on Call of Duty​


Some 2,000 employees are thought to be developing the series



Activision has confirmed that all its core studios are now working on the Call of Duty franchise.

The publisher revealed the latest premium entry in the blockbuster series, Call of Duty: Vanguard, on Thursday, when it said eight of its 10 core studios are contributing to the upcoming game or the free-to-play Warzone.

Development of Vanguard is led by Sledgehammer Games, with Treyarch handling Zombies and Raven leading Warzone. Additional development support across the two games is coming from Beenox, Demonware, High Moon Studios, Activision Shanghai, and Toys for Bob.

Meanwhile, original Call of Duty creator Infinity Ward was still adding new maps to 2019’s Modern Warfare as recently as June and is understood to be working on the next entry in the series.

And earlier this month Activision announced the formation on an internal mobile studio, which is currently working a new entry in the Call of Duty series, with support from Beenox and Shanghai.

While all of Activision’s core studios are now working on Call of Duty, as first reported by VGC earlier this year, it doesn’t rule out them working on other projects too.

When Toys For Bob confirmed in April that it would be supporting the development of Warzone, Activision said the studio would continue working on Crash Bandicoot 4 too, and this week Sledgehammer suggested it could look beyond Call of Duty for future games.



Activision claimed in April that over 400 million Call of Duty premium games had been sold since the first one released in October 2003. The franchise had generated “life to date consumer spending of around $27 billion”, it also said in February.

Some 2,000 people are believed to be working on the Call of Duty franchise, and Activision Blizzard is currently on a major recruitment drive to boost its development resources.

“From the start of 2020 through the end of next year, we intend to hire more than 2,000 developers,” CEO Bobby Kotick said in May.

“We plan to triple the size of certain franchise teams compared to those team sizes in 2019 and we have aggressive hiring plans around the world, including new studios or major expansion in Poland, China, Australia, and Canada.”

VGC analysis published in July highlighted the extent of Raven’s recent Warzone recruitment drive, suggesting the studio has hired over 100 staff in less than a year, with at least 40 more roles still set to be filled.

While Call of Duty previously operated on a three-year, three-studio (Infinity Ward, Treyarch and Sledgehammer) development cycle, development of the series has become a more complex and collaborative process in recent years.

The shift to a games as a service model, and the release of battle royale game Warzone, which has attracted over 100 million players, have played a significant role in this, Sledgehammer studio head Aaron Halon told VentureBeat in an interview published this week.

“You said it there. And as developers, for us it’s been an amazing opportunity,” he said. “With Warzone, that’s been great for developers, great for creativity. It’s allowed us to focus on supporting — the franchise, for me, is changing, and I think that’s a good thing. It’s a good thing for players. It’s been great for our studio, our culture.”

Halon added: “Ever since Sledgehammer began in 2009, we’ve been working closely with Infinity Ward and Treyarch and Raven. We’ve all worked together since Sledgehammer was founded. That’s continued. I would say it’s probably — like any type of relationship, the longer we’re working together, that relationship has grown stronger.”



Sledgehammer chief operating officer Andy Wilson was also asked what the cultural differences are between the various Call of Duty studios.

“If you have one giant 2,000-plus team all in one place, it’s going to be a very homogenous culture,” he responded. “In terms of the way the different studios work together, we don’t have radically different cultures necessarily, but there are a lot of subtleties in there.

“Our priorities as a studio, our values as a studio — above all, we try to treat the team as adults. Transparency is important to us when we’re talking to the team. We’re open and honest with people. We have a culture of strong collaboration. That’s a necessity, because we do work with different locations. Collaboration and communicating respectfully and efficiently is important to us.”

Elsewhere in the VentureBeat interview, Halon addressed the lawsuit filed against Activision Blizzard by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing in July, which accuses the company of failing to handle sexual harassment and discrimination complaints.

Perhaps in light of the lawsuit, the debut trailer for Call of Duty: Vanguard appeared to distance itself from Activision. While it highlights the game’s developers, it doesn’t feature the Activision logo at all, unlike last year’s Call of Duty announcement video, which prominently displayed the badge of its publisher.

The only mention of Activision in the Vanguard video is in the legally required copyright small print, suggesting the company is attempting to distance itself from its key brand during a period where its reputation has been severely tarnished by numerous allegations of wrongdoing.

Source: VGC
 

eyesabitdull

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Its worked for Ubisoft, right? RIGHT?!??
Eh, unlike Ubisoft, COD tends to at least retain tight fps gameplay and mechanics.

One can argue AC has gotten worse and worse if we're looking at what made the first few games great.

Not a fan of COD tho, and all these people working on the game seems like a waste of talent.
 

SpokkX

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I cant stand CoD

i hope the series goes the way of guitar hero

come on Activision - keep going, you are soon there!
 
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ethomaz

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Well it where it comes all the $$$.
So I understand they want to release this year.

And to be fair it is a way better choice than delay it.
 
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Elder Legend

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Makes perfect business sense. I enjoy CoD games, sure some are worse than others but so far I think this gen CoD has been far better than Call of Duty Ghosts, Call of Duty Advanced Warfare.

I enjoyed Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2019 and Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War far more.
 

ethomaz

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So…Blizzard not a core studio confirmed.
They are indeed separably companies or business units inside Activision Blizzard group.

Activision
Blizzard Entertainment
King
Major League Gaming
Activision Blizzard Studios
Activision Blizzard Consumer Products Group

These are the companies owned by Activision Blizzard.
All of them are independent from each other and reports to Activation Blizzard.

So Blizzard is it own company/core.
 
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mckmas8808

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Eh, unlike Ubisoft, COD tends to at least retain tight fps gameplay and mechanics.

One can argue AC has gotten worse and worse if we're looking at what made the first few games great.

Not a fan of COD tho, and all these people working on the game seems like a waste of talent.

I'm a fan of COD, but I agree with you. A TOTAL waste of talent to have 2,000 people working on ANY one franchise!
 

Elder Legend

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I'm a fan of COD, but I agree with you. A TOTAL waste of talent to have 2,000 people working on ANY one franchise!
Ehhh.... its not really a waste if they are making a lot of money. They know their audience and it only makes sense to invest more in what's working. It's such a basic fundamental business understanding. You would do same if you were in that position.

Sure, new titles are nice, but there are other companies for that and there are plenty of new games coming, so I am not sure why people are complaining. I barely even have time to finish or play the games I currently have
 

xrnzaaas

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Well it looks like that after a few years of enjoying games like Crash, Spyro or THPS 1-2 I'll go back to not buying any Activision games. They could've had some cool side gigs going especially for people not interested in Call of Duty games, but no - they want maximum profits from CoD games.
 
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Banjo64

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Why is this series still popular sorry? It peaked with MW & MW2 and has seemingly been on a downward spiral ever since gameplay wise. I just don’t get it.
 

MiguelItUp

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Of course they are. Just like Epic on Fortnite. It's a sad state of affairs. On one hand, I get it. On the other I wish they'd really focus on another IP. Or at least do enough to the COD series to make it feel more like a sequel with each iteration. Rather than one that feels an ever so slightly different or revised.

At some point that hype is going to have to burn out. Or something else is going to need to come around and steal that spotlight.

Why is this series still popular sorry? It peaked with MW & MW2 and has seemingly been on a downward spiral ever since gameplay wise. I just don’t get it.
No clue. I personally REALLY enjoyed it up until Black Ops 2, but then I just lost care. Though Modern Warfare 2019 was pretty good.

Warzone being free definitely gave it MORE attention.

I personally just lost interest cause it felt like low effort sequels at that point.

I remember thinking World at War came with quite a bit of content, and I was impressed. Loved the game. Reminded me of older titles full of content, etc. But then it just started to feel the same, over and over again.
 
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You're right everyone, Activision should definitely just take the money they're making from COD, and instead of giving their COD customers higher production quality they should use that money to make the games that you, yes you, want to play!
 
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ManaByte

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Supposedly they're working on a new dedicated anti-cheat system. We'll see if it actually works lol but at least its good they're aware its causing people to leave CoD.

The anti-cheat system is already useless on consoles. Activision is too fucking stupid to realize that console players are cheating with a HARDWARE add-on and not software like on the PC. They need MS and Sony to disable that third party hardware on a system level to stop it.
 

AV

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Why is this series still popular sorry? It peaked with MW & MW2 and has seemingly been on a downward spiral ever since gameplay wise. I just don’t get it.

It's the annual casual gamer shooter. The people buying 1x COD and 1x SportsGame™ per year, maybe 1x Ubisoft game if they're feeling spicy, make up a pretty significant market share. They don't play/care to play enough other titles to know the difference in quality, they don't care, the sheer dollar-per-hour value they get playing COD all year is tremendous. Rinse and repeat with the next one.
 

Rayderism

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Guess I won't be buying any Activision games anytime soon. Never was a fan of CoD games, or FPS's in general. Way to alienate a large demographic of gamers who aren't FPS fans.

I'm sure they'll be crying in their piles of cash with that statement, but it is what it is.
 
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wipeout364

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COD is a lot of fun, not sure why it gets so much hate. I have enjoyed the last couple of games and to be fair to activision, since they release yearly its more like 600 people working on a game since most studios take three years at least to get something to market.
Infinite Warfare, Modern Warfare, Cold War, Black ops 3 have all been amazing releases by the Activision with Modern Warfare and Cold War having what I consider very fair monetization systems.
 

Notabueno

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So it confirms that Activision is trying to suffocate and kill Blizzard in order to focus all their attention on the world's biggest war propaganda media.
 

Airbus Jr

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Activision pumping cod game faster than Bluebox releasing their new Abandoned trailer
 
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kiphalfton

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Wonder how the people on all these various dev teams feel about this? Maybe that's a sacrifice they have already accepted by working at Activision, is giving up any sort of dream of ever working on original, groundbreaking games.
 
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Shut0wen

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Jesus 2k people working on 1 franchise, i dont get activision, they have always been shit in the last 13 years but last gen they given us remakes of crash and spyro while publishing that samurai fromsoftware game, all games were successful even convincing them it was a good move to do remakes and then bam they are like fuck you get cod sticks and stones edition
 
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Dream-Knife

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MW2019 was good, but the series needs a break.

But, like Fifa and Madden, people will always buy it.
 

mckmas8808

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Ehhh.... its not really a waste if they are making a lot of money. They know their audience and it only makes sense to invest more in what's working. It's such a basic fundamental business understanding. You would do same if you were in that position.

Sure, new titles are nice, but there are other companies for that and there are plenty of new games coming, so I am not sure why people are complaining. I barely even have time to finish or play the games I currently have

Nah....I wouldn't do the same because I need things to excitment me if I'm doing business. I'm willing to leave some money on the table in route to creating things that are more interesting. Making COD, Warzone, and 2-3 other franchises seems like a smarter bet (in my opinion).
 

Banjo64

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They accidentally stumbled on something that everyone loved with the Crash and Spyro trilogy remasters, Crash 4 and Tony Hawk remastered. They said ‘fuck your goodwill’ and pissed in all of our faces. Class.
 

MrFunSocks

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And so they should when it continues to be one of if not the top selling game on every platform every year. People like COD.
 
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manfestival

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when all else fails... throw everything at COD. I guess MW2019 was such a good hit that it has ruined the company
 

KAL2006

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Putting all their eggs in one basket eh. Wonder how smart that is for the long term. Shareholders and economists are usually not long term though in my experience :D

I remember people said you watch COD will decline this year and then it will be the end of Call of Duty and will never be successful. I heard that back in the PS3 generation, and yet here we are COD is still as popular as ever. I think it's time to admit that COD will always be popular just like FIFA. And let's say putting the eggs in 1 basket fails they can easily switch to other IPs its not like they will stop owning other IPs if they keep making COD.

In conclusion for fans of multiple IPs this is bad news

For Activision making money this is good news
 
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