Well, for those of you who were hoping for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 this year … keep hoping, because it doesn’t look to be happening.

Thanks to a job listing for a “community manager” on Gamasutra, it’s been revealed that the next game in the ultra-popular Call of Duty series is being produced by Sledgehammer Games.  A visit to their site now makes it clear that they are involved with the series, but there is no clue if it’s the 2011 game or possibly something in 2012.  Our bet is this year, but we’ll have to wait and see.  (click image for slightly larger view)

For some time now the Call of Duty series has rotated between Treyarch doing the odd numbered installments, and Infinity Ward doing the even numbered ones.  It was during their rotations on Call of Duty 4 and 6 that they were able to launch the insanely popular Modern Warfare sub-series.  In theory, this year is Call of Duty 8, meaning Infinity Ward should be doing the game, and it probably would have been Modern Warfare 3, but things are not good between the developer and Activision, the publisher of the game.

As we detailed some months ago, there are legal problems between Activision and Infinity Ward over payments and bonuses, and the two founders, Jason West and Vince Zampella, have since left the company.  All of this could mean Infinity Ward is out of the series forever, or perhaps it’s just taking an extra year for its next installment, because, lets face it, each developer getting one of these games out every two years is a bit of a tight schedule considering the work that goes into them.

To that end, a rumor popped up a few days ago on This Is Xbox that suggest Infinity Ward is indeed still in the mix, but taking 2011 off to work on a Modern Warfare prequel that will focus on the character of Ghost from Modern Warfare 2.  Even the source site says you should take this with a grain of salt, but it would explain the random appearance of Sledgehammer Games in the mix.

So, now with all of that gossipy mess out of the way, what is Sledgehammer Games working on?  Is it a totally new sub-series?  An extension of a current one?  And do keep in mind that Activision has yet to make an official announcement on this, so we really are in the dark, but we can’t imagine the publisher not going with a great idea for one of its biggest titles.

What say you?  What do you think the next Call of Duty is about?

[via This Is Xbox and GameZines]