While it's only been about two months since Infinity Ward's Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 hit store shelves and shattered countless sales records, rumors of the studio's next project and the inevitable Modern Warfare 3 are already making the rounds.
Citing "industry sources," Destructoid claims Infinity Ward's next will be a massively mulitplayer online game, with the studio reportedly hiring Sony Online Entertainment (EverQuest, Star Wars Galaxies, PlanetSide) veterans and possibly getting help from fellow Activision Blizzard studio Blizzard (World of Warcraft, Diablo, StarCraft).
Whether this turns out to be the oft-mentioned Call of Duty MMO or not, franchise owner Activision is still likely to continue releasing annual entries in the popular series.
That leads into the second rumor going around, which sees VG247 stating that Modern Warfare 3 is to be developed by another Activision-owned studio. One source pointed to Prototype developer Radical as handling the unannounced-but-inevitable shooter sequel, while another put it in the hands of Sledgehammer Games--a newly formed studio from Dead Space veterans Glen Schofield and Michael Condrey that is confirmed to be "creating a new game based on one of Activision's existing franchises."
This fits with earlier word from The Los Angeles Times, which claimed that a third developer was joining Infinity Ward and Treyarch on the blockbluster series, as well as reaffirmed that a Call of Duty MMO was under consideration.
Though Infinity Ward created the Call of Duty series and handled its first two entries, Activision switched over to a "leapfrog" development strategy with Call of Duty 3, which was crafted by Treyarch. Since then, the annual Call of Duty releases have alternated between Infinity Ward and Treyarch, with indications that Treyarch is readying a Vietnam War era entry, codenamed Call of Duty 7, for release towards the end of 2010.