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Activision moving Call of Duty to new developers, genres

March 2, 2010

After the release of two top execs at Infinity Ward, Activision has announced today “new strategic plans” for the Call of Duty franchise, including the announcement of a new developing studio.

According to a statement by the company, Activision will create a “dedicated [Call of Duty] business unit that will bring together its various new brand initiatives with focused, dedicated resources around the world.” They also want to expand the franchise “with the same focus seen in its Blizzard Entertainment business unit” placing 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.”

This business unit for Call of Duty will be lead by Philip Earl, currently with Activision Publishing’s Asia Pacific region. Activision Publishing’s Steve Pearce, chief technology officer, and Steve Ackrich, head of production, will lead Infinity Ward on an interim basis, confirming reports that Jason West and Vince Zampella are officially no longer with Infinity Ward.

Series co-developer Treyarch, responsible for Call of Duty 3 and Call of Duty: World At War, is working on a new Call of Duty game to be released this fall. In 2011, Activision is planning the release of another new Call of Duty game from Sledgehammer Games, a studio lead by Glen A. Schofield and Michael Condrey, both from Dead Space’s creative team. The title aims to “extend the franchise into the action-adventure genre.”

Despite the restructuring of the franchise, Infinity Ward is still scheduled to release two downloadable map packs for Modern Warfare 2 later this year.

What are your thoughts on this new direction for the franchise? Gamer Gazette will keep you posted as more information comes out.

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