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 granted patent that allows players to share Call of Duty loadouts
Activision has been granted a patent that the team filed in 2019 in references to sharing loadouts in a multiplayer video game via online social networks. The patent was granted to Activision officially on November 17, 2020.
The inventor of the patent is: David Vonderhaar. The studio design director at Treyarch.
The patent was originally filed on September 16, 2019. It’s called “Systems and methods for customizing weapons and sharing customized weapons via social networks,” according to the US Patent Office.
The main premise of this patent is to build an engine that will allow “one or more other players of the multiplayer video game” to share their custom loadouts “via at least one social network such that the one or more other players can utilize the customized weapon configuration during a gameplay session.”
This patent details every single portion of the weapon that Call of Duty considers and tracks in implementing them into the game. It looks at “weapon performance attributes, weapon appearance attributes, weapon performance statistics, and player performance statistics.”
The massive part of this patent is the sharing aspect, which is something that could change Call of Duty and add a new layer to the social experience of the franchise.
As reported by PCGamer, this new patent details how players could control who can see and use their loadouts. The patent explains that loadouts can be shared. It talks about customized weapon configuration and details how they can dictate the share controls.
“A player may further specify that he or she wishes to make a customized weapon configuration available for gameplay by one or more other players. In some implementations, a user may specify that a customized weapon configuration and/or some or all of the foregoing information be made available to all players, or a subset of players including, but not limited to, friends (or followers), or team members, or other groups of players.”
Another massive part of the patent is about how players can share the loadouts. In detail, the patent describes a new engine that goes in depth to allow players to share loadouts on social media platforms, within the game itself, and more.
This new engine will “enable a player to share weapon configurations, information about weapon configurations, and/or gameplay statistics internally (or in-game) via, for example, an in-game social network or a game publisher-centric social network accessible in-game by game players. Additionally or alternatively [it will enable players to share] via one or more external social networks (e.g., Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Instagram, Vine, Tumblr, etc.). In one implementation of the invention, the sharing engine may enable a player to transmit communications (e.g., email messages, text messages, or other electronic communications) that include hyperlinks or other selectable graphical user interface objects that enable recipients to access the shared information.”
This detailed patent also allows players to include messages and/or details when sharing said loadouts. Players can include “personalized text, graphics, pictures, audio, video, or other multimedia” as part of their share experience.
Lastly, the new patent describes how players could potentially issue challenges when sharing their loadouts, and then allow others to complete or best those challenges.
“The sharing engine may further enable a player to issue challenges to one or more other video game players to obtain or exceed certain player performance statistics, weapon usage statistics, or ratings, and/or achieve other objectives using a given weapon configuration.”
It says there’s a “Challenge Interface” that could be built allowing players to track and advance their challenges within the game’s engine.
This would be a significant new portion to the social experience for Call of Duty, if implemented. Do note that is a patent, and patent’s don’t always end up in products immediately or in the near future. It could take some time for players to see a real in-game experience of this feature. But it’s quite interesting to see the level to which Activision can take the social experience of Call of Duty especially with Warzone and free to play experiences.
How to enable two factor authentication on your Call of Duty Account
Protect your account now!
Activision has finally added an additional, much needed layer of security for your Call of Duty account.
For over a year, cross play has been the standard in Call of Duty. All of your Call of Duty purchases, rank & progression all are linked to your Activision account, or Call of Duty account. This is the account you use for crossplay and the account you’ll also be using in Black Ops Cold War to unify your rank with Warzone and Modern Warfare.
If you tend to use the same password across many accounts, or if you don’t want to risk the possibility of losing your Call of Duty account, take the following steps to protect your account.
- 1. Go to this website to start.
- 2. Select “Set Up Two-Factor Authentication”
- 3. Log in to your Call of Duty account through your Activision login, or a linked PlayStation, Xbox, Steam or BattleNET account.
- 4. Download the Google Authenticator for your phone, available on the App Store or Google Play Store. (Or use another Authentication app of your choice).
- 5. Press the “+” icon on the top left of the Google Authenticator, and scan the QR code displayed on the page.
- 6. Enter in the code in the Google Authenticator app to finalize the link.
After you’ve completed the process, be sure to login to your account one more time just to verify the process was correct.
Once this is done and activated, when you login to Activision or Call of Duty account, you will be asked to use the Google Authenticator passcode in addition to your regular password to login.
Modern Warfare is now the best selling Call of Duty in its first year
Activision Blizzard has announced it’s Q3 2020 Financial Results, which continue to exceed expectations as people move to gaming avenues during this time.
Activision has stated that generated over $1.2 billion in revenue from microtransactions across all of their titles, a new record for Q3.
The company also announced that Modern Warfare is now the best selling premium Call of Duty in its first year ever, with almost two-thirds coming digitally. Warzone also continues to see incredible success, on PC as well, with PC microtransaction sales four times higher this year.
“Our teams continue to execute our growth plans with excellence during incredibly challenging circumstances,” said Bobby Kotick, Chief Executive Officer of Activision Blizzard. “We are on a path to deliver sustained long-term growth across our fully-owned franchises. With confidence in our ability to continue to execute, we are raising our outlook for the year and remain enthusiastic for our growth prospects next year.”
Activision says that monthly active users for Modern Warfare & Warzone saw “three times as many” this year compared to Q3 2019.
Here’s the higlights from Activision on the quarter, which is quite impressive:
- Call of Duty®: Modern Warfare® and Warzone™ saw more than three times as many MAUs as the prior title in the year-ago quarter. Console MAU grew strongly and PC MAUs grew over ten-fold year-over-year. Across PC and console combined, hours played were approximately seven times higher year-over-year.
- We again saw substantial year-over-year growth in premium game sales as Warzone players chose to upgrade to the full Call of Duty experience. Modern Warfare first-year premium sales are the highest in Call of Duty’s history, with two-thirds of units sold digitally.
- Call of Duty console and PC in-game net bookings were four times the year-ago level.
- Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War will release on November 13 into the largest and most engaged community in franchise history at the time of launch, and will support cross-platform play across PC, current-generation, and next-generation consoles. Anticipation for the release is high, with far more players engaged in the game’s public testing than for the year-ago title.
Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War arrives Nov. 13.
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