A decade ago, developer Infinity Ward redefined the FPS genre with Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. The game made a massive and successful jump from World War II to the modern day conflicts happening in the Middle East, it changed both the typical setting and gameplay by adding killstreaks, perks, and much more. Infinity Ward continued to push these boundaries with Modern Warfare 2 and while it was pretty much the biggest game at that time, it caused internal conflicts at the studio and publisher Activision.
Founders Jason West and Vince Zampella were “dismissed” from Infinity Ward and escorted out by security. 46 Infinity Ward employees resigned including lead developers and other people who worked on Modern Warfare 2 and followed West and Zampella to their next venture which ended up being Respawn Entertainment, the team behind Titanfall. According to Activision, the two founders had breached their contract by holding meetings with other publishers such as EA who later went on to publish Titanfall.
Respawn Entertainment made the first two Titanfall games which both underperformed on a commercial level but were critically acclaimed for innovative gameplay and incredible multiplayer. The future of the franchise remains in doubt as Respawn has been purchased by EA and been assigned to work on an untitled Star Wars game. With that said, it appears there may be trouble afoot at the studio as former employees have returned to the studio they originally jumped ship from.
A handful of employees who came to Respawn after leaving Infinity Ward have now returned to the Call of Duty developer. Among the returnees, Infinity Ward has gained Respawn’s former lead game designer Geoffrey Smith (now multiplayer design director at IW), former art director at Respawn (now studio art director at IW), former senior game designer at Respawn (same position at IW), a Respawn producer, and an art producer (turned associate producer at IW).
A large chunk of these people did substantial work on the Modern Warfare series including Geoffrey Smith who designed some of the most beloved maps in the franchise including Favella, Crash, Wet Work, Vacant, Rundown, Sub Base, Derail, Karachi, and many more.
With all of that said, Call of Duty insider CharlieINTEL has corroborated a leak that says Infinity Ward is currently developing a return to the Modern Warfare series for 2019 in the form of Modern Warfare 4. The original leak comes from a source known as GamingIntel (no relation) that got some things right and wrong about Black Ops 4 prior to its reveal. GamingIntel reported that Modern Warfare 4 will bring a campaign unlike Black Ops 4, the expected multiplayer mode, and a Modern Warfare first, a zombies mode.
GamingIntel’s source also suggested we could see a battle royale mode in Modern Warfare 4 but it has yet to be decided internally. Perhaps they’re waiting to see how Black Ops 4’s Black Out mode is received¬†before doubling down on it. While this is likely the most we’re going to hear about it until early 2019, it’s exciting to know that the beloved sub-franchise is making a return nearly a decade after reaching its conclusion.
If this ends up panning out, it wouldn’t be surprising if we finally get that Modern Warfare 2 remaster bundled with Modern Warfare 4 in 2019. It certainly looks like Infinity Ward is going out of their way to get the fans back on their side after two lackluster attempts at starting a new Call of Duty series following Modern Warfare 3. Only time will tell if it really ends up being worthwhile.
Treyarch’s Call of Duty, Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, will release on October 12th, 2018 on Xbox One, PS4, and PC. It will not feature a single-player campaign and will be making massive changes to its multiplayer.
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