In a new episode of The GameInformer Podcast, GameInformer was joined by Glen Schofield to discuss him leaving Activision, what he worked on when he left Sledgehammer Games, and what’s next for him.
Schofield worked at EA as a Creative Director on Dead Space for years, before moving to Activision in 2010 to found Sledgehammer Games with Michael Condrey. Sledgehammer Games has worked on Call of Duty since then, releasing three titles – Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (co-developed with Infinity Ward), Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, and Call of Duty: WWII.
In 2018, three months after the launch of Call of Duty: WWII, Activision announced that both Condrey and Schofield would no longer be studio heads at Sledgehammer Games, and they’d move to a new VP of Development role at Activision. In December 2018, Condrey left Activision and started his own studio at 2K Games. Schofield’s next move has not been confirmed, but he has also left Activision and is taking some time off and discussed his experience in this new podcast.
Schofield says he’s incredibly happy about what he created with Sledgehammer Games, releasing 3 Call of Duty titles over 8 years. Schofield says, “I had a really good run while I was there. We made 3 Call of Duty games over the course of 9 years, and built a studio. So I feel pretty content and leaving them in a good place.”
Schofield was even asked what type of conversations were drawn up about Battle Royale in Call of Duty when he was there. He says that PUBG was not as big when Call of Duty: WWII was in its development, and Fortnite had not fully picked up everyone’s attention when the title launched. “I had several meetings after that [the growth of Fortnite], that were peppered with Fortnite,” he says.
When he was moved to VP of Development at Activision, he was in a corporate position and was not working on anything Call of Duty related. Schofield states that him and Condrey then went their own ways — Condrey was doing other work for Activision, while Schofield was working on prototyping ideas. He was prototyping new IP ideas for Activision and says he actually came up with a good idea that wasn’t given the green-light by Activision.
“Did a little prototype for them…they didn’t go for it, but they should have,” says Schofield. He is not allowed to talk about what the IP project was. “I can’t tell you anything about it.”
“It’s hard to get a great new IP going, and you got to put time and effort and money into this these things. We put time and effort into it and some money and it just didn’t work out. It hurts at times, but I have enough other ideas that it’s okay.”
GameInformer asked Schofield if he left Activision because they did not approve his project, and he says that “I mean, there’s a little of everything…you know after 10 years, I’ve seen the project not greenlight, and it was time. But on the other hand, I don’t want sound…there’s nothing bitter, everything about my years there was really good. I never thought that you’d leave a place without a gig, right? But now days, I see why. I can and look for the next thing that will allow me to do something great.”
Schofield also discussed some of the stress in running a Call of Duty studio with a large community and being the face of the team. He says there were two times that he received death threats, and says they go straight to the authorities with those. “It’s not only on people, on a person, on a family, it’s really on the product and things like that, so the company will get involved.”
When Condrey and Schofield left Sledgehammer, Aaron Halon was promoted to Studio Head of the studio. Schofield says, of Aaron, “He kinda grew up with us over those years and he was involved in all of the meetings. He was our right hand person. He can handle his own.”
He also shares a bit about the first Call of Duty game they worked on, saying that for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, they co-developed the game with Infinity Ward, and Sledgehammer’s focus on the game was the single-player, while Infinity Ward focused on MP of the game.
You can watch the full interview here: