Sledgehammer Games has seen its fair share of ups and downs since the studio initially started back in 2010. The studio was co-founded by Michael Condrey and Glen Schofield, two former EA VPs who worked on Dead Space franchise.
The studio started its Call of Duty journey by co-developing Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 with Infinity Ward in 2011. After that, Activision shifted Call of Duty to a 3 year developer cycle starting in 2014, when Sledgehammer Games worked on their own Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, then launched Call of Duty: WWII in 2017.
The studio had a rough year in 2018 when both co-founders left the company, and many developers left Sledgehammer to follow Condrey and Schofield to their respective new places.
Now, the studio appears to have stablized and picked back up going into the future. The studio started its ‘Decade II’ in August 2019, and the studio’s new COO Andy Wilson says they have setup a clear patch for the future. In an interview with VentureBeat, Wilson talks about the studio and what’s happening.
The studio is now working on multiple projects, presumably within Call of Duty world, and is looking to hire 100 more developers for their San Francisco, CA and Melbourne, AU office.
The point was to treat that moment as the first day of the second age of Sledgehammer Games and not just a celebration of what came before, because for all the studio’s success we could see there was so much we could do going-forward: culturally for certain, but also in terms of structure, the move to more than one project, the continued growth of the team in Melbourne and so on. The great thing about Decade II, Day One was that was actually the end-point of months of solid work to establish a clear plan for the future. The result is a team and studio with a clear roadmap and an enormous opportunity ahead of it, with a lot of great new team members signing up for the journey.
He confirmed that the studio is now multi-project based and is actively hiring. They currently have 200 people and want to add 100 more.
We’re now a multi-project studio and we’re looking for a substantial number of new team members to join us. We’re looking across every discipline and various levels of seniority. It’s a pretty exciting time for our studio.
It’s not clear yet what exactly the multi-projects the studio is working on. In May 2019, it was reported that Sledgehammer and Raven faced hardships on the work for 2020 Call of Duty, and Activision put Treyarch in charge of this year’s game. There still is no info on what the 2020 Call of Duty game and is if Sledgehammer is contributing to that project.
As always, stay tuned.
Activision files cease and desist letter against another cheat manufacturer
Activision Blizzard continues to take down cheat manufacturer sites to stop the spread of different cheats for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and Warzone.
In August, the company filed a lawsuit against CXCheats for illegally creating cheats to be used in an IP owned by Activision Blizzard. CXCheats since deleted all cheats for Modern Warfare and Warzone in compliance with the lawsuit.
Now, in September, another large cheat manufacturer, GatorCheats, has said that Activision Blizzard has filed a cease and desist letter to stop them from making cheats for Call of Duty games.
The owner of GatorCheats said in their Discord that the first letter was filed by in May 2020, but they did not fully comply with that – opting to allow cheats to continue to be available.
In May 2020, Activision Blizzard’s attorneys contacted me via a Cease and Desist letter. Considering this event, I decided to act on my already pending decision to close all sales to new customers for my product relating to Modern Warfare and Warzone.
Activision has since escalated the requests. In Sept. 2020, the owner of GatorCheats claims that Activision Blizzard served another cease and desist letter. But, this time, a PI showed up at his residence with the letter and informed him of what Activision knows about their site and the owners behind it.
In September 2020, Activision Blizzard’s attorneys had another Cease and Desist letter hand delivered to me by who I assume was a PI, considering he knew my family members by name and made a point to showcase that he did. Also in September 2020, I received very clear communication in a follow up from Activision Blizzard’s attorneys communicating that they would litigate (file a law suit against me) if I didn’t comply with continuation of stopped sales as well as a complete stoppage of interaction with and updating of any products related to their client’s products.
The full letter from the owner states that he will “never make or create” a cheat for an Activision Blizzard product again after receiving the letters and a visit from them at his house.
Activision has not commented on their anti-cheat initiatives since June, where the company said they continue to ban players on a regular basis.
Activision files lawsuit against cheat manufacturer
Activision filed a lawsuit to sue a company responsible for creating hacks and exploits for Modern Warfare and Warzone.
Activision has sued CXCheats for illegally creating cheats to use in Call of Duty, the company announced.
CXCheats claims on their website that they are “dedicated to quality.”
This is a pathetic marketing line to convince users to buy cheats to use in Call of Duty.
As a result of our lawsuit with Activision, we have agreed to cease development and support for all Call of Duty related products or services sold through the site. These products will not be returning to CXCheats in any form. You also should be aware that using third-party tools in Call of Duty may result in the suspension or banning of your account by Activision Publishing, Inc. or the game’s developers. We apologize for any pain we’ve caused to players of Call of Duty.
Call of Duty: Warzone has been experiencing an intense amount of hackers since the game’s launch on March 13 on the PC platform.
With cross play, the hacks impacted the console players as well. PS4 players have opted to disable cross play to avoid them. Xbox players currently cannot disable cross play for unknown reasons.
CXCheats said on Discord that any user found using their software in Warzone will be banned, permanently.
Any user who utilizes unauthorized third-party software to gain an unfair advantage, manipulate stats, and/or manipulate game data is subject to penalty. Unauthorized third-party software includes, but is not limited to, aimbots, wallhacks, trainers, stats hacks, texture hacks, leaderboard hacks, injectors, or any other software used to deliberately modify game data on disk or in memory.
As of now, Activision has not commented on the lawsuit.
Former MLB executive joins Activision Blizzard to lead Sports & Entertainment
Activision Blizzard announced this week that former MLB executive will be joining the company starting August 17 in a newly formed position of President of Sports & Entertainment.
Petitti was the Deputy Commissioner and COO of MLB for years.
“Tony is one of the most highly regarded executives in sports and entertainment,” said Bobby Kotick, Chief Executive Officer of Activision Blizzard. “His success in media and as Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer of Major League Baseball is the perfect blend of skills to help us realize our aspirations for esports and our related businesses. He is admired by owners, media executives, players and fans.”
“Bobby Kotick has been translating his vision into opportunity at Activision Blizzard for 30 years. I couldn’t be more excited to use my own 30 years of sports and entertainment experience to help Activision Blizzard realize its ambitions,” said Petitti. “It’s clear to me the company has an incredible opportunity to connect players and fans in new and innovative ways, and I’m excited to be joining the company at such an important moment in its history. The last 12 years in baseball have been extraordinary for me and I am especially grateful for the leadership and mentorship that Commissioner Manfred provided to me and the League.”
Tony Petitti will join on to be in charge of the company’s esports businesses, which include Overwatch League and Call of Duty League, consumer products division, and films & television division.
Petitti will report directly to Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick.
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