Call of Duty 2020 | Future of a Franchise

Downhill from Modern Warfare?

The latest installment in the Call of Duty franchise is finally here, and by the sales numbers alone fans can’t get enough. Infinity Ward takes players back to the game that changed a franchise with a rebooted Modern Warfare. Combining a gritty campaign with an ultra-realistic style of play Modern Warfare begs the question, could the stale first person shooter franchise be revitalized once more? Activision Blizzard think so. Given a staggering opening weekend with a sales report of $600 million, it is definitely a compelling argument.


Modern Warfare has already outpaced its predecessor, Black Ops 4’s, opening weekend by $50 million and with the holiday season upon us those numbers will only climb. However, despite all the positivity Modern Warfare did not escaped its first week without a staggering amount of in game issues. A trend becoming all to common with recent AAA title releases. Player had to deal with systems crashing, audio bugs, and balancing problems alongside Modern Warfare’s launch. With studio fatigue and ever tightening deadlines becoming the norm, another question comes to mind. With Sledgehammer taking a backseat on development of Call of Duty 2020, what will the next installment do to Activision’s Call of Duty franchise?

Activision Falls Back on Call of Duty Classic

It’s no secret that Sledgehammer has been in shambles since the studios co-founder Glen Schofield resigned in December of 2018. With new team lead Aaron Halon stepping in amid development of the next Call of Duty, the transition has been rockier than Activision anticipated. With reports emerging in April 2019 of ‘creative tensions’ between Sledgehammer and Raven Studios. Paired all together with multiple issues in development causing the title to fall alarmingly behind schedule, Activision’s hand was ultimately forced to intervene in May of 2019.


Electing to bring Treyarch in as creative lead, the publisher will rely on a franchise classic sub-series in Black Ops, but what else is known about the 2020 title? Reportedly set during the Cold War, and more specifically in Vietnam, Call of Duty 2020 will either be Black Ops 5, or a reboot of the original 2010 game. Raven and Sledgehammer studios will remain in charge of the games campaign with a sustained release in late 2020. Outside of this scarce else is known of the future title given it is still a year away.

To Little to Late?

Could Treyarch’s intervention cause even more of a creative separation with three studios now in the mix? In early October trusted source TheGamingRevolution was asked to rate the games current state of development from 1 to 10, to which he replied 3/10. With less than two years to deliver can Treyarch overcome the odds?


The massively popular first person shooter usually allows studios a three year window to develop their Call of Duty title. A luxury no longer available to Treyarch and company, who will now have to work with less than two. Will Activision be able to capitalize on 2019’s Modern Warfare with a quality 2020 installation? Or, following the franchises most successful launch on modern consoles, could Call of Duty already be doomed. Fall of 2020 is a long ways away, or is it?   

-December 20, 2019 1:00 am EDT-
By: Nick Lehner