Black Ops 5 to Release in 2020 Following Call of Duty Development Upheaval
Black Ops 5 will be the Call of Duty title set for release in 2020, according to a report published Saturday by Kotaku. The reveal represents a major shift in the Call of Duty release cycle.
Every fall for the past 15 years has seen the release of a new Call of Duty game from a rotating group of developers that includes Infinity Ward, Treyarch and Sledgehammer. According to that rotation, Sledgehammer was next in line to create 2020's title alongside Wisconsin-based studio Raven. The game was to be set in the Cold War.
Black Ops 5 Release
Now, publisher Activision has pushed Treyarch to the front of the line. The studio will look to release Call of Duty: Black Ops 5 in 2020, with Raven and Sledgehammer serving as support studios for the game. Both studios will turn the work they'd completed on a single-player story mode into a campaign for Black Ops 5.
The new Black Ops will also be set during the Cold War, and will reportedly be a cross-generation game to align with the launch of the next PlayStation and Xbox.
The change means Treyarch's usual 3-year development cycle has been cut to two, leading some to fear significant crunch will be necessary to meet the timeline set down by Activision.
Per Kotaku's reporting, the ousting of Sledgehammer co-founders Michael Condrey and Glen Schofield started a chain reaction in which Sledgehammer staff began to leave for Condrey's new studio with 2K. That plus a contentious relationship with Raven likely led to the Call of Duty upheaval.
Activision declined to comment on the story.
Photo courtesy of Treyarch/Activision