Friday, May 05, 2006

Next Call of Duty to be Console exclusive

PC gamers have long held onto certain franchises as their own, with popular series like Doom, Quake, and Civilization all originally built with the PC in mind. With the advent of more sophisticated consoles, several PC franchises have made the jump over to the Xbox and PlayStation 2, and more recently the Xbox 360.

One such game that did so with phenomenal commercial success was Activision's Call of Duty 2. The game long held the top slot for best-selling Xbox 360 game, and easily outsold any other Xbox 360 launch title. The game enjoyed great success on the PC as well, though the Xbox 360 numbers outshone the PC's as more consoles were fed into the market.

Apparently, Activision was looking at those numbers. In today's post-earnings conference call, Activision chairman and CEO Bobby Kotick specifically noted that the next Call of Duty game, due in the company's third quarter of this fiscal year (October 1, 2006 - December 31, 2006), is "not a PC product, it's a console product and it's all next-gen." All is not lost for the keyboard and mouse crew, however.

The game is likely one of the Call of Duty spin-offs and not developed by the franchise's original minds, Infinity Ward. 2005's Call of Duty: Big Red One and 2004's Call of Duty: Finest Hour, both of which received lukewarm reviews, were developed by Treyarch and Spark Interactive, respectively.

More hope comes from news from 2005. According to job listings posted by Infinity Ward just after last year's E3, the company is ramping up its teams for its Call of Duty games as well as a new IP, but applicants should be open to both PC and next-gen console development. Also, Activision expects to release a COD game in its following fiscal year, which keeps in line with a new, full Infinity-Ward-developed PC Call of Duty game released every two years.

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