Activision Reportedly Using Multiple Teams to Develop Modern Warfare 3

Amid the intensifying legal drama surrounding the Call of Duty series, it seems that Activision is using multiple teams to stick to its yearly release schedule. The L.A. Times reports that with the creative leads and several key staff members gone, Infinity Ward needs a few pinch-hitters.

Sources say that Activision is having Sledgehammer Games assist with the making of Modern Warfare 3. The title is reportedly set to come out this November, even though it hasn't been officially announced yet. Infinity Ward and Sledgehammer are splitting duties on the single-player campaign. Meanwhile, Activision has also pulled in Raven Software to work on the online multiplayer component.

The newly formed Sledgehammer was working on a Call of Duty spin-off, but starting production on that project is on hold while the team aids completion of MW3.

Completing the game on time is a top priority for Activision, which has used the annualized Call of Duty series as one of its most reliable sources of revenue. In 2010, Call of Duty: Black Ops sold 12 million units.

It's unclear what Activision's plans for the franchise might be after this year's installment. We had thought that Sledgehammer's spin-off could be on the schedule for 2012, but if the production hasn't started yet the studio would have to scramble to finish in time.

From The Chatty
  • reply
    January 21, 2011 8:14 AM

    Anyone hoping this train will eventually hit a wall, at which point Acti is in deep shit? They're milking this one so hard and it's destroyed other franchises in the past.

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      January 21, 2011 8:17 AM

      When I seen all of the complaints of MW2 I thought it was over, but the next week you see "Record sales!". You can't stop the massive amounts of idiots who buy this.

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        January 21, 2011 8:24 AM

        Guitar Hero and Tony Hawk had mass appeal back in their heyday; look at the sales of Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock and Tony Hawk: Shred. I was looking at the VGChartz numbers for the 360 versions; for the worldwide numbers, Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock is under 500,000 units sold, and Tony Hawk Shred just squeaked above 100,000 units.

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          January 21, 2011 8:43 AM

          I really hope you're right, but I'm afraid CoD caters to a completely different constituency than your examples.

          Tony Hawk was simply phased out by the Skate franchise. I think everyone pretty much wholeheartedly agreed that Ride & Shred sucked balls, and the Skate gameplay, especially the controls instantaneously invalidated the rest of the Tony Hawk series.

          And music games were a fad that picked up just like Wii; attracting a whole bunch of non-gamers into the mix. But milking it so hard made it grow old fast. The momentum was simply not there to carry through.

          But there are millions of "hard core" console gamers out there who are plainly satisfied on buying a new CoD every year. Most of them probably have no idea nor do they care, that there are multiple teams behind the franchise. For many, it's the only game they play, at least online. I don't really see an end to this charade in a long while.

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            January 21, 2011 8:51 AM

            Skate sold like shit too dude, Tony Hawk games died on their own. Project 8 was the last good one then they just ran out of ideas.

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            January 21, 2011 9:45 AM

            VisitorQ is right. The shooter player base on the consoles is such that activision will be able to get away with annual releases of CoD for at leat 2 to 3 more years. Even if sales drop by 50%. a new cod game will still be worth the effort.

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              January 22, 2011 4:32 AM

              I dunno, my teenage nephew says that his mate don't think BLOPS was as good as MW2 and a lot of them have gone back to playing MW2 online. A guy I work with has a nephew about the same age who's from a different part of my county and he says the same thing, apparently it's mainly because it's not so easy to cheat or exploit in BLOPS compared to MW2.

              Kids eh?

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      January 21, 2011 8:23 AM

      I do hope they die. But success of other corporations gleefully eliminating actual quality content from their priority list while reaping increasing profits from it all... Like how Fox eliminated reporting or how Disney eliminated... Everything...

      Fuck it. We're all morons. We deserve stupid things.

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        January 22, 2011 2:45 PM

        "Fuck it. We're all morons. We deserve stupid things."

        Haha, awesome and true. This should be on the front page as quote of the week.

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      January 21, 2011 8:33 AM

      I think it's more-or-less inevitable.

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      January 21, 2011 8:51 AM

      The only way to derail this train is with our wallets, but with the masses of fanboys that buy anything with the CoD label on it derailment is highly unlikely. Unfortunately.

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      January 21, 2011 8:57 AM

      Hopefully, I am starting to hate the series for its non-innovative rehashes of the same assets over and over and over again.

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        January 21, 2011 9:14 AM

        That's all they can really do with 18 months of development time. Activision would probably have to let a team spend 3 years on a title in order to create something truly innovative, but they said years ago that they wanted to go with the 2 year "leapfrog" strategy. Now that Sledgehammer is on this title, will that give them enough time to create their "Call of Duty in Space" title as something truly new and unique?

        It really is drawn out and tired; the core gameplay hasn't changed much since CoD4; only the doo-dads added on after the fact have made it look slightly different.

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        January 21, 2011 10:31 AM

        That is why I have decided to sell black ops now. After cod4, waw, mw2, and now black ops, the gameplay just doesn't hold my interest for more than a few months. It really feels like I have played this before and the future dlc is NOT going to be worth $30. I'd rather put that money toward another game or even mw3.

    • rms legacy 10 years mercury super mega
      January 21, 2011 9:13 AM

      I think it's fascinating, as sort of an organisational or workflow problem. Is 'slow & steady' with one smaller dev team better than multiple teams?

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        January 21, 2011 9:51 AM

        What the hell is this? Activision simply has two teams playing ping pong with the franchise so the company can make annual releases. One team could not make that schedule work. It is not a question of slow and steady. Activision is simply trying to get as much as they can while they can (i.e. while cod is a hot property). It is just milking/borderline exploitation.

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      January 21, 2011 9:42 AM

      Unfortunately it won't - look at how often the sheep buy the latest/greatest Madden game every year with only the most minute changes.

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      January 21, 2011 9:59 AM

      Haters gonna fuckin hate. Yes, the franchise is over hyped bladdy bladdy blah, but this convo is only really happening because us PC gamers sometimes feel like we are superior (which we technically are) to our little console brothers and sisters, and feel that we are the small minority that is all knowing and forever right in whatever we say. Well sorry folks, but thats a load of bullcack and CoD is here to stay. Theres a reason why so many people like Modern Warfare and Halo, and no its not JUST because they are midnless zombies. I mean, seriously? Youve got to be like ODing on depressants or something to land in the middle of an MW firefight, and not feel like youre having fun.

      And besides, dont you want to know where theyre taking Soap? I mean jeez thats been bothering me all year dammit!

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        January 21, 2011 10:23 AM

        I think it's valid in terms of how I'm getting bored of the Call of Duty game again, like I did back when CoD: United Offensive came out. I skipped CoD2 because it was "more of the same", I skipped MW2 because they took out dedicated servers and the single-player was "more of the same". The major reason why I bought Black Ops was the Combat Training mode and adjustable FOV.

        What's Modern Warfare 3 going to be? More of the same formula? I'll pass.

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      January 21, 2011 10:12 AM

      It will die, all in due time...all in due time.

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