According to an L.A. Times article published yesterday, Activision Blizzard has opened a new development studio devoted to the Call of Duty franchise. Though the mysterious new team has not announced any projects yet, an anonymous source within Activision suggests that future Call of Duty titles might include a large-scale persistent multiplayer world.
Serious fans of the series will be familiar with the Call of Duty twin-studio approach, as Infinity Ward (developer of Modern Warfare 2) and Treyarch (the team that built Call of Duty: World at War) take turns developing new titles to ensure that there's a Call of Duty game released every November. The third studio might be assigned to jump into the core game rotation, develop all future tertiary titles (like the mobile port jobs done by outside developers Amaze and n-Space that brought the series to the PSP and DS, respectively) or even to the much-rumored Call of Duty MMO.
The Times cites insider information in their story, but top Activision officials have regularly expressed their eagerness to adopt a subscription-based payment system for future Call of Duty titles. Speaking at a financial conference last week, Activision Blizzard CFO Thomas Tippl commented on the possibility of bringing World of Warcraft's business plan to other popular franchises.
"It's definitely an aspiration that we see potential in, particularly as we look at different business models to monetize the online gameplay," said Tippl. "you should expect us to test and ultimately launch additional online monetization models of some of some of our biggest franchises like Call of Duty."