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Infinity Ward's far from out, but it's certainly down a number of very important people – including former bosses Jason West and Vince Zampella. Under normal circumstances, that'd mean huffing, puffing, and delaying the game out of 2011 while everyone regroups, but this is Call of Duty we're talking about. Activision's precious lifeblood. Its bread and butter. And so, according to a report by the LA Times, the CODependant publisher's brought in a couple fresh faces to pick up the slack.
First up, there's Sledgehammer Games, who's been quietly hammering away at its own Call of Duty spin-off for quite a while. Apparently, that game will be put on the backburner while the developer lends a hand on Modern Warfare 3. As a result, Infinity Ward and Sledgehammer are said to be “working closely” on Modern Warfare 3's single-player campaign -- which may or may not star a certain not-so-friendly Ghost.
Meanwhile, Raven Software – developer of 2009's Wolfenstein reboot and recent time-bender Singularity, among many others – is heading up the multiplayer half of the operation.
For now, Activision's opted to neither confirm nor deny any of it, but has said that it hopes to announce further details in the “near future.”
If it is true, though, it's certainly not Activision's finest moment. The whole thing reeks of frightened desperation, serving as a cautionary tale about what happens when you put all your golden eggs in one brittle basket. Call of Duty's certainly a phenomenon, but it won't stay that way forever. If Activision has so little faith in its other franchises that Call of Duty can't be allowed to miss even a single beat, then things are going to get pretty darn ugly when gamers start moving on and the franchise loses its record-breaking sheen.