It looks as though the world-beating first person modern warfare simulator franchise Call of Duty will appear in a very different form in 2011, according to the bosses at publisher Activision.
Several of the leading professional designers at the developer behind CoD, Infinity Ward, have lost their jobs as a result of an Activision reshuffle, which also looks set to change the gameplay and perspective in the next CoD game.
Infinity Ward has been replaced altogether, with Sledgehammer Games taking the reins. This is the team who created survival space horror title Dead Space, so there is at least a decent pedigree on offer.
According to an Activision spokesperson, the CoD franchise will be brought from the straightforward run-and-gun FPS genre to a full-blown ‘action-adventure’. That will probably mean that the next title will resemble the Uncharted games, although it is not as if CoD has lacked in cinematic set-pieces so far.
Activision’s removal of the two senior members of Infinity Ward has come as a shock to many and so far the publisher has claimed that insubordinate behaviour and contractual breaches are the key reasons for the terminations.
Activision is hoping to make the CoD franchise as profitable as possible and a spokesperson said that this would involve expansion into new genres and gameplay that would appeal to wider demographics. Whether this means that we will see a Call of Duty game that rivals MMORPGs such as World of Warcraft, or a tight, linear title with an emphasis on third-person action remains to be seen.