Activision has now officially responded to the reported shakeup at Infinity Ward.
The publisher has confirmed studio heads Vince Zampella and Jason West have left the company, but issued no other comment related to their departure. There was no mention of "insubordination" or "breach of contract" in Activision's statement.
Activision Publishing CTO Steve Pearce and head of production Steve Ackrich are temporarily in charge of Infinity Ward.
According to the release, Infinity Ward will move forward on developing two downloadable map packs for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, both due for release sometime in 2010.
Confirming what we already suspected, a new Call of Duty is coming from Treyarch Games later this year. What we didn't already know, however, was Activision's intentions for Sledgehammer Games (headed by former Visceral Games developers Glen A. Schofield and Michael Condrey) to release a brand-new Call of Duty game "in the action-adventure genre" sometime in 2011.
No setting or gameplay details were revealed for either upcoming Call of Duty product, but the "action-adventure" description suggests it won't be a first-person-shooter.
Activision also vaguely discussed intentions for the future of the series, which include pulling the Call of Duty franchise under a singular business unit. Activision also intends to "expand" the Call of Duty brand similar to what Blizzard Entertainment has done with its franchises.
This lines up with Activision's public intentions to eventually release a subscription-based Call of Duty game. According to Activision, this change "will include a focus on high-margin digital online content and further the brand as the leading action entertainment franchise in new geographies, new genres and with new digital business models."
"2010 will be another important year for the Call of Duty franchise," said Activision Publishing president and CEO Mike Griffith in a brief statement. "In addition to continued catalog sales, new downloadable content from Infinity Ward and a new Call of Duty release, we are excited about the opportunity to bring the franchise to new geographies, genres and players."
More details as they become available.