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Report: Call of Duty 2020 Becoming Black Ops 5

In an unconfirmed story, Kotaku reports a shake-up for next year's Call of Duty, saying Activision is now planning on this being a new Black Ops game to be created by Treyarch. The game Raven and Sledgehammer were developing for 2020 was said to be a Cold War installment in the CoD series, and that elements of this will now form part of a solo campaign for a new Black Ops, with Raven and Sledgehammer being relegated to a supporting role in creation of the new game. If the reporting on this is accurate, this sounds like only a partial solution to the problem, as they cite "two people familiar with happenings at Activision" describing tension between Sledgehammer and Raven, saying the two studios have "argued frequently during the past year of development on Call of Duty 2020." They have more on what this means to all parties involved:

What this means is that rather than getting three years to make their next game after Black Ops 4, Treyarch will have just two. Some at the company say they’re not pleased about that, and are already bracing for brutal overtime hours like they faced last year on Black Ops 4. Others have told Kotaku they’re excited about the change, as they have a solid game plan that isn’t likely to change drastically, unlike their last two projects. (We’ll have more to share about Treyarch and the development of Black Ops 4 in the coming weeks.)

This news comes during a strange time for Activision and Call of Duty. Although Black Ops 4 sold well at first, we’ve heard that it hasn’t had quite the revenue tail that Activision’s bean-counters were hoping to see. Internally, Activision executives have started to talk about embracing free-to-play as a revenue model—once anathema to the publisher—and, three sources say, are looking into offering a free-to-play component for this year’s new Modern Warfare, although the specifics may not be finalized yet. Some within Activision have remained resistant to the idea.

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