While last year’s Call of Duty: Ghosts was clearly a cross-generational product – to the detriment of every version, not to mention sales – this year’s iteration of the yearly franchise is being developed for Xbox One and PlayStation 4 first.
“Sledgehammer is approaching this as next-gen-first development,” says Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg in an interview with IGN. Hirshberg said that it was tougher to develop for the new consoles last year because the hardware wasn’t quite set early on.
“Now that we have next-gen hardware out in the marketplace and solid, that is our primary development,” he said.
This is also one of the reasons Activision moved Call of Duty to a three-year development cycle, according to Hirshberg.
“On a two-year cycle, with the level of content we were putting in the games, it became a real horse race each and every time to get everything done that we wanted to get done.” Hirshberg says the teams have greater capability than ever with the new consoles and they want to make sure their developers “have time to innovate, iterate, and bring the best creative vision and most possible polish to each and every game.”
While Activision isn’t ready to reveal the name or premise of the new Call of Duty, Hirshberg says that Activision gives each of their studios “a lot of independence,” and that “the proof will be in the pudding.”
We’re looking forward to seeing how Sledgehammer uses their independence and innovation to create a highly profitable 5-10 hour first-person campaign about warfare that is modern set for release in mid-November of this year.
Finally, Hirshberg added that the current-gen versions aren’t getting the short shrift, saying that “we want to deliver a great experience to them as well.”