UPDATED: Activision Pulls Raven Off Bond Game, Designing Call Of Duty Maps


Posted May 13, 2010 - By Patrick Klepek

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Activision Pulls Raven Software Off Bond Game, Now Designing Call Of Duty Maps

UPDATE 2:35 PM: Activision has responded to my earlier report, but they're not saying anything.

"Activision does not comment on rumor and speculation," said a company spokesperson.

ORIGINAL STORY: Besides World of Warcraft, there's no franchise more important to Activision than Call of Duty. With Infinity Ward recovering from a mass resignation of senior employees, Activision is looking for more developers to work on the franchise. I've been informed by multiple sources familiar with the situation, all of whom chose to remain anonymous, that Activision has tasked Raven Software with making Call of Duty: Black Ops map packs and put one of their games on hold in the process.

There are at least two main development teams at Madison, Wisconsin-based Raven Software. One team is currently finishing work on one of Activision's only new properties in 2010, Singularity. I'm told another team, whose last game was the Wolfenstein reboot from last summer, was in the early development and design phases of a stealth-centric James Bond game. That project is now on hold.

After suffering some delays, Singularity is on track for a release on June 29.

The James Bond/Wolfenstein team has been tasked to work on a series of map packs for Treyarch's in-development follow-up to Call of Duty: World at War, Call of Duty: Black Ops.

Activision has not responded to my requests for comment on the situation at Raven Software.

The future of Call of Duty has been an open question since Activision fired former Infinity Ward leadership Jason West and Vince Zampella in early March. Following the firings, dozens of senior designers, programmers and artists at Infinity Ward have resigned from the studio, with many of them following West and Zampella to their new Electronic Arts-backed company, Respawn Entertainment.

Unlike Infinity Ward, however, Respawn owns the rights to their now-unannounced next game.

Raven Software suffered a setback last August after shipping X-Men Origins: Wolverine and Wolfenstein. The developer was forced to lay off nearly 60 employees to "better reflect the studio's upcoming slate," according to Activision last summer. Only Singularity was known at the time.

Treyarch's finishing work on the next game in the series, Call of Duty: Black Ops, scheduled for release in November. The latest installment is coming to Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC and Wii.

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UPDATED: Activision Pulls Raven Off Bond Game, Designing Call Of Duty Maps


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