Activision has released at least one Call of Duty game every year since 2005, and while we haven’t heard much about the series’ 2019 entry, it’s safe to say it’ll make it out before the end of the year. As for the entry after that, the one releasing in 2020, we can’t be as sure.
A new report from Kotaku indicates that, in order to keep up its yearly release schedule, Activision has shifted duties around a bit. Currently, we get a new Call of Duty year every year from one of three major studios (with other studios pitching in to help): Treyarch, Infinity Ward, and Sledgehammer, with each releasing a new game every three years. 2020 was previously on track to see the next game from Sledgehammer and Raven (the ladder of which is reported to have been taking lead on this project), but will now instead see another Treyarch-helmed Black Ops game, which, considering Black Ops 4 released just last year, would mean that team would have to turn around another game in just two years, as opposed to the usual three.
One reason for the change, according to Kotaku’s report, is “tension” between Raven and Sledgehammer, which had been arguing frequently about the project. “Two people familiar with the project described it as a mess,” the report states. Both Raven and Sledgehammer are now reportedly working to support Treyarch on Black Ops 5 instead. Some developers tell Kotaku they’re afraid this will lead to crunch time on the studio, while others are excited about the change.
Recently, Sledgehammer had seen some upheaval of its own. Founder Glen Schofield had left the company in December, leaving to join Take-Two and 2K Games, hiring many Sledgehammer employees as part of the move.
We’ve reached out to Activision for a statement on the report, and will update this story if we hear anything back.