UPDATE: Mark Rubin issued a statement to Polygon about his decision to leave Infinity Ward:
As you know, I had been at IW since the tail end of CoD2 development. Got to be part of the 360 launch and watch CoD become a massive franchise. It’s been just under 10 years at IW and I was just ready to retire. I didn’t leave because of anything that “happened” at work, rather I just wanted to stop working and start enjoying life outside of work. I’ve been amazingly lucky to have been apart of one of the most amazing and influential properties in all of entertainment and that success has given me the opportunity to retire earlier than most people get to. So yea I’m happy and doing well. I’ve got some business investments that I’m working on but for the most part I’m hanging out with friends more than I was able to in the past and enjoying my passion for video games — not as a developer. 🙂
Polygon has reported that Mark Rubin has departed Infinity Ward. Mark Rubin worked as the Executive Producer at Infinity Ward on Call of Duty: Ghosts; he was with Infinity Ward since Call of Duty 3. Mark Rubin left earlier this year, but it’s unclear as to why he departed; Activision declined to issue a comment on his departure. Polygon has stated that there’s no information if a replacement for Rubin has been named.
In addition, former Lead Designer on Call of Duty, Todd Alderman, who left during the 2010 Infinity Ward / Activision law suit crisis, has returned as the Multiplayer Project Director, Activision confirmed to Polygon. Alderman worked on desigining multiplayer from Call of Duty 1 up to Modern Warfare 2 during his time at Infinity Ward. After originally leaving Infinity Ward, Alderman joined Respawn, but left in 2012; since then, he has been at Riot Games.
“The chance to come back to Infinity Ward and Call of Duty is something I didn’t think would ever happen,” Alderman told Polygon in a prepared statement. “It’s been five years since I’ve been here and a lot has changed. There are a lot of new faces and motivated people who want to make something great. It’s a really cool game concept that I want to be a part of. I can’t wait to see what we do with a three-year dev cycle.”
Infinity Ward has been through many changes since its inception; in 2010, after a big law suit, co-founders Vince Zampella and Jason West departed, taking many employees with them to their new Respawn studio. Just last year, Infinity Ward announced that they’ve merged with Neversoft. Infinity Ward’s studio head also changed following merging with Neversoft; Dave Stohl, previously Executive Vice President at Activision, took over as the studio head of Infinity Ward. Stohl issued the following comment about today’s news:
“This is about hiring the best talent for the right position,” Stohl said. “Todd’s accomplishments speak for themselves. We’re happy to have him lead multiplayer development here at Infinity Ward as well as provide a level of leadership across the entire studio team. Following last year’s combination with Neversoft, we’ve continued to add some great talent throughout the studio. As we focus on the future, there’s a real sense of energy that has us all excited about what’s to come.”
Over the past several months, Infinity Ward has been adding new developers on to their team. In July 2014, two Naughty Dog developers joined the team. In September 2014, 3D programmer on Far Cry 4, Michal Drobot, joined as the Principals Rendering Engineer.
Last year, Activision made a big change to the Call of Duty development cycle; they transitioned into a three year cycle, giving studios an extra year on each release. With that, Sledgehammer Games took 2014 with Advanced Warfare, and Treyarch’s next title is confirmed to come this year, which means we should expect Infinity Ward’s next title in 2016.
Activision reportedly committed to releasing next three Call of Duty games on PlayStation
A new report claims that Call of Duty will remain on PlayStation for at least the next three releases, including Warzone 2.
Activision Blizzard have committed to releasing the next three Call of Duty games on PlayStation, according to a new report from Bloomberg.
The gaming world was rocked on January 18 when Microsoft announced it was set to acquire Activision Blizzard in a deal nearing $70 billion. While 54% of Call of Duty fans polled are happy at the news, there has been some concerns about whether Microsoft would make the franchise exclusive to Xbox consoles.
Now, a new report claims that Activision’s flagship FPS will stay on PlayStation for at least the next three releases.
Bloomberg‘s Jason Schreier claims that “Activision had already committed to making the next few CoD games available on Sony’s console,” before news of Microsoft’s purchases broke.
That means Infinity Ward’s Modern Warfare sequel, which is set to release later this year, Treyarch’s next entry in 2023, and a planned “new iteration of Call of Duty: Warzone” will all be playable on PlayStation consoles.
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While Activision haven’t confirmed this publicly, Schreier states that he spoke to “four people with knowledge of the deal,” who have asked to remain anonymous.
While this is good news for Sony fans. the future of CoD on PlayStation is still difficult to predict. Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer previously stated that they “intended to honor all existing agreements” after the Activision Blizzard deal is complete, but didn’t mention what would happen once those agreements have ended.
Taking away Call of Duty from PlayStation would mark a seismic shift in the gaming industry, and for the franchise. It seems Call of Duty could change forever under Microsoft’s ownership, with talks ongoing about ending the franchise’s annual release schedule.
Image Credits: Activision Blizzard / Sony
Activision executives reportedly discussing end of Call of Duty annual releases
A new report claims Activision are considering scrapping the series’ annual release schedule following Microsoft’s buyout.
Activision Blizzard executives are reportedly considering ending the Call of Duty franchise’s annual release schedule, with Bloomberg claiming discussions are ongoing.
For years, fans have become accustomed to receiving a new Call of Duty game every year. Without fail, Activision have published the latest entry in the legendary FPS franchise in October or November, giving players a new game to grind into the holiday seasons.
Some players have suggested this isn’t always a good thing, as this cycle gives CoD’s three developers a limited time to work on games, which can sometimes lead to issues when they launch. Sledgehammer Games have already delayed Vanguard Season 2 to try and address the problems plaguing the game.
Now, it appears that Activision’s higher-ups may be coming around to the idea of ending yearly releases for good.
According to a new report from Bloomberg, high-level employees at Activision “have discussed moving away from the annual release schedule.”
Jason Schreier reports that these plans haven’t been finalized yet, but there is a belief among the franchise’s development teams that this would “please players and help bolster the franchise” by lightening the intense workloads they currently face.
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This debate has been sparked after the lackluster reception to Vanguard, although Schreier states any change is unlikely to happen for at least a year or two, with Activision banking on 2022’s rumored Modern Warfare II to boost the franchise.
The move away from yearly releases would certainly offer developers more time to tweak and polish the game, and avoid many of the criticisms leveled at their games in the early days. Halo fans had to wait 6 years for Infinite, but the game was met with widespread acclaim at launch.
With the Microsoft acquisition of Activision, it’s expected that we could see some major changes to the publisher’s titles, although Phil Spencer has moved to calm fears that CoD could become an Xbox exclusive title.
For more on what could happen, check out how Microsoft and Xbox Studios could change Call of Duty forever.
Image Credits: Activision Blizzard
Here’s why 54% of CoD fans are happy about Microsoft’s Activision buyout
A recent poll revealed that 54% of Call of Duty fans were positive about Microsoft’s Activision buyout, and here’s their reasoning.
It was revealed in a Charlie INTEL poll that the majority of Call of Duty fans were glad of Microsoft’s planned Activision Blizzard takeover, with 54% agreeing it’s a good thing.
The game’s industry was shocked when Microsoft announced they’re planning to buy Activision Blizzard King for almost $70 billion. This gives them exclusive rights to some of the biggest gaming franchises in the world such as Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, and Overwatch.
We asked the Call of Duty community their thoughts, and the majority were excited about the franchise’s future under Microsoft. However, some were more hesitant to celebrate the news.
54% of CoD players say Microsoft’s Activision buyout is a good thing
Charlie INTEL conducted a poll on January 19, roughly 24 hours after the monumental news broke, asking Call of Duty fans: “What’s your reaction to the Microsoft buyout of Activision Blizzard?”
Over half of the 28,000 votes believed it will be a good thing. Just over 12% think it will be bad for the industry, and 33% aren’t sure yet.
Unfortunately, Microsoft’s plans for Activision’s properties are as clear as mud. They sound hopeful that Activision titles will hit Xbox Game Pass, but we’ll likely need to wait until the acquisition goes through to know more.
Why CoD players are happy with Microsoft’s Activision buyout
Several players explained why they think Microsoft’s Activision Blizzard takeover is a good thing.
“For worker culture at Activision Blizzard it seems like things will likely improve,” said popular Call of Duty leaker TheGhostOfHope. “COD will likely see a much more healthy developer ecosystem as well. Microsoft being able to buy the competition like they are is a slippery slope long term though. Overall I’d say it’s good.”
One player was extremely positive about the acquisition, saying that “if anyone thinks this is a bad thing” then “you need to think again.” They believe that “Microsoft has come a long way and isn’t spending 70 billion to make CoD worse. It can only get better. But it will take time.”
Many were hopeful that Microsoft would scrap Call of Duty’s yearly release cycle. Both Black Ops Cold War and Vanguard were released with broken and missing features, and many players believe these developers should be given much more time to perfect the game.
“I overall see this as a good thing and can hope that xbox will stop the yearly cod cycle and fix warzone,” said one player. TangoCheeseball echoed their statement, saying they hope that Microsoft supports CoD 2022 for two years, and then Treyarch returns with a new title in 2024 or 2025.
Xbox players were obviously glad, expecting to receive exclusive content and Call of Duty on Game Pass. “I’m on Xbox so game pass bouta be blessed but not sure if it’ll be a upgrade for Cod or if it will just stay the same. Either way a positive for xbox,” said LiLbotboi.
But of course, not every player was happy about the acquisition. Many had doubts over Microsoft’s monopoly over the games industry, with them already owning Bethesda, and worried that Call of Duty would go Xbox/PC exclusive.
“If they choose to make all of Activision’s future games exclusive to Xbox/PC, it’s doing a disservice to all gamers,” said Elkucuy.
Newbro101_ was more open-minded, saying: “It’s way too early to tell if it’s a good thing or not, once I notice an actual change in games it’s good [I guess].”
There’s no way of knowing what Microsoft has in store for Call of Duty and its development teams. We can only hope the change is positive for both Activision staff and the CoD community.
However, we have some thoughts on what may change, so check out the five ways Microsoft buying Activision could change Call of Duty forever.
Image Credits: Activision Blizzard / Microsoft
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