That’s according to Kotaku, whose sources claim that problems between publisher Activision’s subsidiary studios Raven and Sledgehammer prompted a re-assignment of the game to Treyarch, with the other two supporting development instead.
“One primary reason behind this Call of Duty upheaval, according to two people familiar with happenings at Activision, is the tension between Sledgehammer and Raven, whose staff are said to have argued frequently during the past year of development on Call of Duty 2020,” writes Jason Schrier. “Two people familiar with the project described it as a mess.”
Until now, the Call of Duty launch schedule has been divided into three cycles, with a game each year from Infinity Ward, Sledgehammer (and Raven), and Treyarch. Although not actually confirmed for the moment, it’s the industry’s worst-kept secret that 2019’s Call of Duty is a new Modern Warfare by Infinity Ward, and Sledgehammer was working with Raven on next year’s iteration, a game set sometime in the Cold War. Whatever that was, however, is now expected to be revised into a new Black Ops game instead, including a single-player campaign.
The first Black Ops game in 2010 also featured some of the events of the Cold War, a time spanning political tension and nuclear paranoia between the US and its allies and the then-Soviet Union and its satellite states from 1947 and 1991. Despite somewhat mixed reviews, the game remains one of the best-selling in the series, and a fan favourite.