Call of Duty 2020: Studios In Upheaval, Black Ops 5, Cold War

Developers behind the 2020 installment of the gigantic gaming franchise Call of Duty is said to have gone through a “major upheaval” after publisher Activision informed them of a change to the status quo this week.

Activision has declared that the studios that had been leading the Call of Duty 2020 project, Raven and Sledgehammer, would no longer be in charge.  According to a report first covered by Kotaku, their sources have indicated that Treyarch will be taking over and leading development of a new Black Ops slated for 2020.

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This is a shift in the franchise’s previous practices.  In the past 15 years, Activision has released a new Call of Duty title every fall, on a rotating basis amongst multiple highly capable developers who have, up until now, operated without many hiccups.  Since 2012, Activision has rotated its top three developers on a three year basis.  Treyarch started off this rotation with Black Ops II in 2012, followed by Infinity Ward with Call of Duty: Ghosts in 2013, and the Sledgehammer ushered in the future warfare with Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare in 2014.  That rotation previously looked like this:

2012 – Treyarch – Call of Duty: Black Ops II

2013 – Infinity Ward – Call of Duty: Ghosts

2014 – Sledgehammer – Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare

2015 – Treyarch – Call of Duty: Black Ops III

2016 – Infinity Ward – Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare

2017 – Sledgehammer – Call of Duty: WWII

2018 – Treyarch – Call of Duty: Black Ops IV

2019 – Infinity Ward – Unannounced (but many have been led to believe it is Modern Warfare 4)

2020 – Sledgehammer – Unannounced (To be replaced by Black Ops 5 by Treyarch)

This isn’t the first action that Activision has made for Call of Duty 2020.  Activision originally assigned the support studio Raven to take an executive role alongside Sledgehammer to make a Call of Duty title set during the Cold War and likely involving the Vietnam War.

Since then, these new developments have changed the course of the rotation and instead, Treyarch will take creative leadership on a new Black Ops 5 release while both Raven and Sledgehammer will serve as support studios for the game’s development.

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According to sources close to Kotaku, Raven and Sledgehammer will be taking the work that they’ve done on their own single-player story mode and will be turning it into a campaign for Black Ops 5 which will also be set during the Cold War.  It will likely be released on multiple platforms, coinciding with both the next Playstation and Xbox, which are also expected in 2020.

While this may be a welcomed change by most gamers, keep in mind that this means that Treyarch will now only have 2 years to complete a game as opposed to the 3 years they are used to having.  And according to Kotaku’s report, some at the company are saying they are already displeased with the news and are already bracing for brutal overtime hours like they faced last year with Black Ops 4.

As the story develops we will be sure to update with any more news and rumors surrounding the Call of Duty franchise including release dates, leaks, and of course any official announcements.  Let us know what you think about the change in the comments!