Call of Duty 2020: who’s the developer?

Sledgehammer Games may not be the developer this time.


Surprise, Call of Duty, will continue its annual run with a new game in 2020. But with its announcement, there’s a more interesting question. Who’s the developer?

During its recent Q4 Investor Call, Activision confirmed that the latest entry in the series is set to arrive this fall. However, it failed to reveal who’s developing it. All the publisher would say is that it’s “generating high interest internally” and “we feel great about the content” thus far.

Initially, Activision set up a three studio development cycle with the series beginning in 2014, shifting between Sledgehammer Games, Treyarch and Infinity Ward. For the last few years, that model has been a success, starting with Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare and moving on through subsequent releases from there. Sledgehammer Games last produced Call of Duty: WWII back in 2017, which became the best-selling release for the year.

However, back in May 2019, Kotaku ran a report suggesting that Sledgehammer Games, alongside Raven Software, ran into struggles with its latest Call of Duty effort. Team members involved with the project reportedly described it as “a mess.” As a result, there’s a word that Treyarch might be on board, while those previous studios serve as support.

Black Ops 4 was a big hit for Activision when it came out the year before, so bringing Treyarch back for a follow-up—or an entirely new game—makes sense business-wise. That said, one has to wonder what will happen to Sledgehammer Games if this situation turns out to be true.

Fans will have to wait a bit. While the new Call of Duty game is coming, Activision likely won’t talk further about it until sometime around the beginning of summer, when it usually reveals what’s coming next.

For the time being, Modern Warfare continues to perform like a champ, making $600 million in launch sales. It will continue to get free content in the months ahead, including the return of fan-favorite, Ghost.