A new report has suggested that Call of Duty 2020 – formerly in the works from Sledgehammer Games and Raven Software, will now be headed by Treyarch and is to be Black Ops 5, after a development shakeup.
Activision has always had a pretty clear development schedule for its annual Call of Duty releases, with Treyarch, Infinity Ward, and Sledgehammer Games working on a three year rotational development cycle, meaning we get a new game from one of the three studios every year.
2017 saw Call of Duty WWII from Sledgehammer Games, last year was Black Ops 4 from Treyarch, and this year is an as-yet unannounced title from Infinity Ward, widely believed to be Modern Warfare 4.
While 2020 was supposed to see a new release from Slegdehammer Games with support from Raven Software, an insightful new report from Kotaku reveals that Activision has decided to shake up development of the 2020 release.
The report mentions that Call of Duty 2020 has had a fairly troubled development process thus far, with frequent conflicts arising between Sledgehammer Games and Raven Software. Sledgehammer has also lost a number of staff over the last year, which further compounded problems.
The upshot of this is that Treyarch has been enlisted to take lead on development of the 2020 release, which Kotaku claims will be Black Ops 5. The game is said to feature a campaign set during the Cold War, and much of the work already completed by Sledgehammer and Raven will be carried over into the new project.
Kotaku’s Jason Schrier spoke to a number of staff at Treyarch regarding the shakeup, with some nervous about the tighter turnaround they now have to deliver a new game, especially as the feeling seems to be that Black Ops 5 will be released for current and next gen consoles, which will inevitably require extra work.
However, others at Treyarch felt that the team already have a solid design in place, and that the support from two other development studios should keep everything on track as planned.
The report goes on to point out that Activision’s rotating three year development schedule for its annual Call of Duty releases is actually a fairly monumental task with an incredibly tight turnaround. Activision has put out a new COD game every year since 2005, and we have to remember that these are massive AAA games.
With that in mind, it is something of a wonder that this is the first time a shakeup of this kind has happened at Activision in 15 years. Well, it’s the first time we’ve heard of one publicly, at any rate.
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Ewan Moore is a journalist at UNILAD Gaming who still quite hasn’t gotten out of his mid 00’s emo phase. After graduating from the University of Portsmouth in 2015 with a BA in Journalism & Media Studies (thanks for asking), he went on to do some freelance words for various places, including Kotaku, Den of Geek, and TheSixthAxis, before landing a full time gig at UNILAD in 2016.