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Call of Duty shifts to 3-year dev cycle, 3 lead studios

In today's financial results call, Activision announced that three studios will build the series' games on three-year cycles across three sub-brands, with Sledgehammer Games leading 2014's title.
In today's financial results call, the company announced that three studios will build the annualized series' games on three-year cycles across three sub-brands. Up till now, Call of Duty games have been built primarily by two different studios in alternating years, allowing for two-year development cycles for each game. Historically, Treyarch has built the Black Ops franchise, and Infinity Ward has built the Modern Warfare games. On today's call, Activision announced that Ghosts joins those two franchises as a new "sub-brand" for the series, and that new Call of Duty games will be built on three-year development cycles. For 2014, Sledgehammer Games will lead development on the next Call of Duty title. This means "more time to focus on DLC and micro-DLC," and "more time to polish," said Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg. "Looking forward to 2014, as both Bobby [Kotick] and I have said, we have a superlative game in the works, and that we have some new approaches this year that we think are going to be very positive with the three-year development cycle -- with the injection of some new creative leadership from some very talented folks at Sledgehammer Games, and we think that the 2014 game is going to be one of, if not the best, Call of Duty game ever," Hirshberg said.

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