Sledgehammer’s Call of Duty 2020 Is Now Treyarch’s Black Ops 5, Development Disputes Emerge

Due to the ongoing tensions between Raven and Sledgehammer Games, Activision has canceled Call of Duty 2020, which was set in Vietnam during the Cold War. The aforementioned studios are known for their work in Call of Duty games like Advanced Warfare and World War 2. This information was revealed by Kotaku’s Jason Schreier and should be treated as a rumor until Activision confirms anything. However, that doesn’t mean that we are not getting Call of Duty next year.

According to the report, Treyarch, the developer of Black Ops 4 is now taking over and will lead development on a new Call of Duty: Black Ops game (Black Ops 5) for 2020. This means that Treyarch’s release of the next game is pushed forward a year and the developer has two years rather than three years to develop its next game in Call of Duty franchise. Kotaku’s sources also tell that this change will result in bad development crunch at the studio even though the world done on the canceled Call of Duty game won’t be completely thrown out the door.

Good news is that the work done for Sledgehammer and Raven’s 2020 Call of Duty game will be now carried over to Treyarch’s next Call of Duty game. This means that Black Ops 5 will feature a campaign unlike Black Ops 4 which was a multiplayer-focused title. In addition to this, the two studios will now act as support studios for Treyarch.

The report mentions that this change is because of the never-ending arguments between Sledgehammer Games and Raven Software, resulting in development problems for the next Call of Duty. Meanwhile, Sledgehammer has been losing employees from a year since the departure of Michael Condrey and Glen Schofield (co-founders of the studio).

This is an interesting turn of events because Activision has always followed a strict pattern of releasing games every year developed by different studios such as Infinity Ward, Treyarch, and Sledgehammer.

It’s a significant shift for Activision’s massive first-person shooter franchise, which is one of the most lucrative video game series on the planet. Every fall for the past 15 years, Activision has put out a new Call of Duty game, supported by a stable of different developers who rotated duties as required. Since 2012, Activision has followed a three-year cycle for its three lead studios: Infinity Ward, Treyarch, and Sledgehammer.

Below is a list of every Call of Duty game released since 2012 along with their developer studio.

  • 2012 – Treyarch – Call of Duty: Black Ops 2
  • 2013 – Infinity Ward – Call of Duty: Ghosts
  • 2014 – Sledgehammer – Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare
  • 2015 – Treyarch – Call of Duty: Black Ops 3
  • 2016 – Infinity Ward – Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare
  • 2017 – Sledgehammer – Call of Duty: WW2
  • 2018 – Treyarch – Call of Duty: Black Ops 4
  • 2019 – Infinity Ward – Unannounced, rumored to be Modern Warfare 4

Apparently, Call of Duty 2020 will be a cross-gen title as it will also release on Microsoft’s Xbox Scarlett and Sony’s PlayStation 5.

Activision has yet to comment on these rumors and we expect that it’ll take a while before any of this is confirmed because the publisher has yet to announce the title for Call of Duty 2019, which is rumored to be Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 4.