Call of Duty gets annual release cycle with three developers

Activision has announced that the Call of Duty development cycle is being adjusted. Where previously two studios were responsible for the franchise, three studios will now alternate. The game that will be released this year is made by Sledgehammer Games.

Activision CEO Eric Hirshberg announced the cycle change at an investor meeting Thursday. With the arrival of Sledgehammer Games, the schedule where development studios Infinity Ward and Treyarch alternated annually with a Call of Duty game. All three studios now have three years each time before the next game in the franchise.

The Call of Duty game, which will be released this year, is the first game that Sledgehammer Games makes within the well-known shooter franchise. The studio, founded by ex-employees of Dead Space developer Visceral Games, previously worked on Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, but that game was primarily developed by Infinity Ward. The latter studio was responsible for Call of Duty: Ghosts last year, while Treyarch developed the Call of Duty: Black Ops games in the intervening years. Apart from the fact that the game comes from Sledgehammer Games, nothing is known about the Call of Duty game for 2014.

The extra development time given to the studios should not only improve the quality of the Call of Duty games, but also offer Activision more perspectives in the downloadable content market. According to Hirshberg, the development teams will have more time to focus on DLC and Micro DLC, which the director says a large part of Activision’s profits come from.