Call of Duty's 2020 release may be Black Ops 5

Kelley Robertson
May 21, 2019

Sledgehammer and Raven, meanwhile, will act as support studios and the work they've done so far will become a single-player story mode in Black Ops 5, which is likely to please fans who missed a single-player campaign in Black Ops 4.

Previously, during the company's first-quarter 2019 earnings call, Activision reassured its investors that Infinity Ward's next Call of Duty game would be unveiled at some point during the second quarter of 2019. Raven and Sledgehammer had been putting a huge amount of time and effort into the single player project, but Treyarch now has creative lead after the shakeup. Or maybe not. According to Kotaku's sources, their support studio Raven Software had originally been tapped to lead the charge on a new game for 2020, joining Sledgehammer. Treyarch is best known as the studio behind the Black Ops franchise, having released Black Ops 4 a year ago.

Kotaku reports that Activision is looking to embrace free to play and the 2019 new Modern Warfare title could have a free to play component attached with it, but the plans for this could change as they are not set in stone. The game's release will likely coincide with the launch of the next PlayStation and Xbox, which are expected in fall 2020, as a cross-generation title. Some at the company say they're not pleased about that, and are already bracing for brutal overtime hours like they faced a year ago on Black Ops 4.

What this means is that rather than getting three years to make their next game after Black Ops 4, Treyarch will have just two. The latter studio was expected to be working on a game for next year, after shipping Call of Duty: WW2 in 2017, which is apparently no longer the case. Sledgehammer and its partner studio, Raven, have been butting heads over the direction of the next game. Co-founders Michael Condry and Glen Schofield were promoted to executive duties back in February 2018, eventually leaving the studio to embark on new ventures. The game's earnings surpassed previous titles, including Black Ops 3. Two people familiar with the project told Kotaku it was a mess.

Activision has declined to comment on Kotaku's report.

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