Activision Reveals New Plan for Call of Duty Franchise

Moments ago Activision unveiled a press release that explains new plans for the Call of Duty franchise.

Activision’s press release states that their new plans for the Call of Duty franchise include “the formation of a dedicated business unit that will bring together its various new brand initiatives with focused, dedicated resources around the world. The company intends to expand the Call of Duty brand with the same focus seen in its Blizzard Entertainment business unit. This will include focus on high-margin digital online content and further the brand as the leading action entertainment franchise in new geographies, new genres and with new digital business models.”

In addition, Mike Griffith, President and CEO of Activision Publishing said, “2010 will be another important year for the Call of Duty franchise. In addition to continued catalog sales, new downloadable content from Infinity Ward and a new Call of Duty release, we are excited about the opportunity to bring the franchise to new geographies, genres and players.”

Activision also states that, “The company is also for the first time announcing that a new game in the series is expected to be released in 2011 and that Sledgehammer Games, a newly formed, wholly owned studio, is in development on a game that will extend the franchise into the action-adventure genre. Sledgehammer is helmed by industry veterans Glen A. Schofield and Michael Condrey. Prior to joining Activision Publishing, Schofield was the Executive Producer of the award-winning game, Dead Space, and Michael Condrey was the Sr. Development Director on the game. The franchise has won more than 80 industry awards worldwide including the prestigious A.I.A.S. Action Game of the Year and two B.A.F.T.A.S.”

Finally, Activision confirmed the firings of Jason West and Vince Zampella, the heads of Infinity Ward yesterday by saying, “Activision Publishing veterans Steve Pearce, chief technology officer and Steve Ackrich, head of production, will lead Infinity Ward on an interim basis. Jason West and Vince Zampella are no longer with Infinity Ward.”

Activision has become embroiled in a vicious battle with Infinity Ward, the developer behind Call of Duty 1 and 2 as well as Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 1 and 2 and it was reported that Activision’s CEO was meeting with Infinity Ward’s lead developers and studio staff today following the unexpected firing of Infinity Ward’s heads, Jason West and Vince Zampella.

Yesterday, Activision met with West and Zampella and shortly after the meeting, security guards were seen entering Infinity Ward’s headquarters. In addition, Activision made an SEC filing claiming that “The Company is concluding an internal human resources inquiry into breaches of contract and insubordination by two senior employees at Infinity Ward. This matter is expected to involve the departure of key personnel and litigation. At present, the Company does not expect this matter to have a material impact on the Company.”

Activision had acquired Infinity Ward in 2003, but reports recently surfaced that Infinity Ward received no royalties for Modern Warfare 2, which made more than $1 billion, and rumors have abounded that the “insubordination” involved West and Zampella speaking to other publishing companies about their business.

It seems, effectively, that Infinity Ward may no longer be in the Call of Duty business once the DLC packages they have been developing are finished and it is quite possible that a major lawsuit may be at hand.

Stay tuned to Terminal Gamer for more details as they arrive.

Source: Activision