Shocking and thoroughly unexpected news has arrived courtesy of the Activision Q4 earnings conference call. Call of Duty is going to remain an annual series. I know, amazing.
Of somewhat more interest is Activision’s decision to now rotate the series between three developers: Sledgehammer Games (who co-developed Modern Warfare 3 with Infinity Ward,) Infinity Ward themselves (or what remains of that studio after the great exodus of 2009) and Treyarch.
Sledgehammer will develop Call of Duty for 2014, followed by a Treyarch offering in 2015 and another Infinity Ward release in 2016.
Activision’s earnings report doesn’t seem to contain any concrete numbers for sales of Call of Duty: Ghosts, but does use very careful and precise wording to say that for the fourth quarter “in aggregate across all platforms in the U.S. and Europe combined, Activision Publishing’s Call of Duty: Ghosts was the #1 best-selling title in both units and dollars” (based on NPD figures and GfK Chart-Track.)
There’s doubtless some semantic trickery going on there, but still suggests it did rather well.