Call of Duty isn’t exactly unpopular.
However, many journalists, critics and analysts believe last year’s entry, Ghosts, marked a low point. Of course, that “low point” still translated to a billion more dollars for Activision, so it’s hard to believe they’ll drastically change the formula.
Still, I like what I’m hearing so far. Activision Blizzard has announced that Sledgehammer Games will be at the helm for the 2014 CoD entry. CEO Bobby Kotick said it might be “the best Call of Duty game ever created.” Sure, there’s some PR behind that statement, but this is Kotick we’re talking about. He has no idea how to issue a statement that isn’t PR-driven.
Besides, this is encouraging. It’s all the more encouraging because Sledgehammer isn’t replacing developers Infinity Ward and Treyarch; the new team has been added to the CoD family. Hence, there’s now a trio of studios set to work on each fresh CoD installment in the new generation, which – more importantly – means each game gets a three-year development period.
During the past generation, IW and Treyarch traded off, but that still meant each game was only given two years. Now, with a three-year rotation, there’s that much more time for polishing and, perish the thought, innovation. Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg echoed these sentiments, saying the extra time will “help push the brand forward.”
I haven’t cared about Call of Duty for years. Suddenly, though, I’m interested to learn about this year’s effort…