The news comes from several sources close to the project who spoke with Kotaku’s Jason Schreier in recent weeks.
CoD gets a release every year, usually in the fall. In previous years, Activision has rotated its development teams, with each team taking the helm every three years.
Based on that schedule, the 2020 Call of Duty game was set to be developed by Sledgehammer, the team responsible for CoD: WWII and CoD: Advanced Warfare.
However, Activision reportedly included Raven as a second lead studio working alongside Sledgehammer for the 2020 game, which is said to have a Cold War and Vietnam focus. That’s where things started to go askew.
Schreier’s sources said the alleged infighting between Raven and Sledgehammer was too much and had a significantly negative impact on the game’s production, described as “a mess” at this point.
Treyarch will be taking over from Raven and Sledgehammer, and the game will be Black Ops 5 instead. Work already done on the game’s single-player mode will be folded into Black Ops 5‘s main campaign, with the promise that it will be meatier than Black Ops 4s single-player mode.
The same sources say the new Black Ops game will also take place during the Cold War. Also, it’s expected to be a cross-gen title, available for the new Sony and Microsoft systems anticipated to launch around the same time in 2020.
What’s less certain, Schreier says, is how the change will impact Treyarch. The studio now has two years to create the game, instead of the usual three, and apparently, staff members are already anticipating serious overtime and crunch to make the game a reality.
Schreier’s sources say this year’s still-unannounced Call of Duty game, which most expect to be a new Modern Warfare title, is still on schedule, though.