The Call of Duty ecosystem is to grow even further, as Activision announced a third game studio will be added to the series' development cycle, on an earnings call with investors on Thursday.
Sledgehammer Games, a division of Activision, will join Infinity Ward and Treyarch in developing Call of Duty games on a three-year cycle.
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.
"This will give our designers more time to envision and innovate for each title," said Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg. "Simultaneously, it will give our content creators more focus on DLC and micro-DLC which have become high-margin opportunities and significant engagement drivers. It will give our teams more time to polish, helping ensure we deliver the best possible experience to our fans – each and every time."
Sledgehammer Games isn't necessarily new to the Call of Duty platform, however. It helped Infinity Ward with the development of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 in 2011.
"[Sledgehammer Games] has demonstrated their skill on Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 and on their past highly rated games," Hirshberg told investors. "They're the perfect choice to support our new approach and bring fresh ideas and creativity to this great franchise and to raise the bar for next-gen games overall."
Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick is excited for what Sledgehammer Games will bring to the Call of Duty platform, saying he expects it to produce “one of if not the best” Call of Duty games to hit yet.
Activision has warned in the past that its current version of Call of Duty: Ghosts, might not sell as well as previous versions. Analysts at Cowen and Company in December reported sales were down 19 per cent year on year, compared to the 2012 release of Call of Duty: Black Ops 2.
Adding a third development firm to the mix could be Activision's way of bringing new life to the serious following a slowdown in sales.
Activision hasn't announced the title or setting of its next Call of Duty game.
Pocket-lint has contacted Activision and Sledgehammer Games to learn more, and will update you if any more details come to light.