Moving out of a transition year for consoles, games with a focus on next-generation hardware will take shape in 2014.
Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg confirmed Sledgehammer Games, the group behind the next Call of Duty title, will develop it primarily for the Xbox One and PS4 now that they're in more customers' hands.
Developing for the next-generation consoles will allow Sledgehammer Games to take advantage of better technology, to make a better Call of Duty title, the executive told IGN.
“Sledgehammer is approaching this as a next-gen first development,” Hirshberg told the publication. “Obviously in the console transition year, anyone who developed a cross-generational game last year had to deal with the fact that the technology of the next-gen platforms was still coming into focus and changing quite a bit during the development process. Now that we have the next-gen hardware out in the marketplace and solid, that is our primary development.”
Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto V is a prime example of a game that was stuck in the awkwardness of the console transition in 2013. A version for the Xbox One and PS4 isn't believed to be coming until summer 2014.
Hirshberg remained quiet on what features the new Call of Duty might feature, but highlighted the importance of the Xbox One and PS4 to bring the game to customers: “We’ve got more capabilities than ever before to play with and we want to make sure our developers have the time to innovate, iterate, to bring the best creative vision and the most possible polish to each and every game.”
Activision announced last week that Sledgehammer Games would be added as the third studio to the Call of Duty ecosystem. Call of Duty: Ghosts just hit in 2013 from Infinity Ward, and Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 saw development in 2012 from Trey Arch. Now, Sledgehammer Games will release its first version of the game in 2014.
Adding a third development firm to the Call of Duty ecosystem will provide Activision more time to add to new games. Hirshberg said the move will "give our teams more time to polish, helping ensure we deliver the best possible experience to our fans".
Hirshberg is still remaining quiet on specifics for the new Call of Duty title, but offered word it will be significantly different from what Infinity Ward and Trey Arch have created in the past. We suspect the power the next-generation consoles bring will help Sledgehammer Games and Activision achieve that.