Rumors have been swirling online for months about whether the latest entry into the Call of Duty series is going to be a reboot of one of the previous Modern Warfare titles.
Kotaku broke the news today that the the 2019 title by Infinity Ward will be Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and that the game is a soft reboot of the first title in the series, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare.
According to Jason Schreier, news editor at Kotaku, the leak came via YouTuber LongSensation on Twitter this morning and sources close to the online news publication involved with the project have confirmed the rumors.
Call of Duty 2019 is called…
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare.
I'm not joking.
— LongSensation (@LongSensationYT) May 24, 2019
“Kotaku has not seen the game or agreed to any embargo, but we’ve heard from many sources connected to the Call of Duty world that it is indeed called Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, and that it’s a “soft reboot” of the first one, developed by Infinity Ward for release this fall,” Schreier wrote. “It’ll be heavy on troubling, realistic emotional moments, very much inspired by the controversial No Russian campaign in Modern Warfare 2 that allowed the player to gun down civilians.”
Kotaku also published earlier this month that the Call of Duty title slated for 2020 has had a shift in development, according to three people close to the project.
Schreier wrote that Activision informed developers last week that Raven and Sledgehammer studios are no longer leading development and that Treyarch, which was expected to lead the 2021 title based on almost a decade’s worth of development cycles, is taking over the project.
“According to those briefed on the overhaul, Treyarch will take creative leadership on this new Black Ops while Raven and Sledgehammer will serve as support studios for the game, transforming the work they’ve done on their own single-player story mode into a campaign for Black Ops 5, which will also be set during the Cold War,” Schreier wrote in the May 18 article on Kotaku. ” … It will likely be a cross-gen game, to coincide with the launch of the next PlayStation and Xbox, which are also expected in the fall of 2020.”
Sledgehammer Studios was purchased by Activison quickly after founding, Kotaku reported, and co-developed Modern Warfare 3 alongside Infinity Ward (which was embroiled in a controversy of its own with the publisher at the time). Sledgehammer was responsible for Advance Warfare and then later released Call of Duty: WWII.
In February 2018, Sledgehammer Studio co-founders Michael Condrey and Glen Schofield left the company and “transitioned into executive roles” within their publisher, Activision said.
According to Kotaku, the transition into an executive role was “clearly an ousting,” and that Condrey and Schofield reportedly left the company a short while later.
According to a February report by Polygon, Condrey was named president of 2K Silicon Valley development team and that they were working on a new, unannounced game for the studio.
Kotaku reported that Condrey’s new studio has been “hemorrhaging employees” from Sledgehammer over the past few months and as a result, the 2020 project has been “described as a mess.”
Perhaps we will have more perspective on this year’s launch in just a few short weeks at E3, but with Sony’s diminished presence and Activision’s timed-exclusivity deal with them, this may not hold true.