Call of Duty 2020: Is Treyarch going back to Black Ops’ roots? - Dexerto
Call of Duty

Call of Duty 2020: Is Treyarch going back to Black Ops’ roots?

Published: 3/Feb/2020 14:40 Updated: 8/Feb/2020 14:00

by Andy Williams


With Treyarch hard at work developing the next Call of Duty game, there are numerous leaks pointing towards a remake of their trademark ‘Black Ops’ series.

Black Ops is arguably the most popular series in the Call of Duty franchise. Its blockbuster campaign holds an ever-evolving storyline, with the narrative largely focusing on political espionage. 

Combine that with a gripping multiplayer infrastructure and a fan-favored ‘Zombies’ game mode (which runs canon to parts of the single-player campaign), and fans everywhere are eagerly anticipating Treyarch’s next release.

Treyarch's Black Ops.
Treyarch’s Black Ops 1 and 2 are arguably the best Call of Duty’s of all-time.

Sledgehammer out, Treyarch in… kind of

After Activision cut Sledgehammer Games from the Call of Duty 2020 development cycle, they drafted in Treyarch one year ahead of schedule

Kotaku’s report suggests that Treyarch are now taking lead on the next iteration, with Sledgehammer and Raven Software taking a backseat and serving as support studios for the project. 

A job listing from Treyarch to aid their bid to deliver a “next-generation AAA title in 2020” all but confirmed that they were now steering the ship. 

Treyarch's job listing.
Treyarch advertised for the role of ‘Senior Tools Engineer’ in June 2019.

Jetpacks coming back? 

Call of Duty’s futuristic movement system is old news — at least, many fans hope. Developers have dipped their toes into that genre, only to be scolded by the game’s loyal community. 

Treyarch’s Game Design Director, David Vonderhaar, has interacted with a fan about the idea of jetpacks being brought back to ‘revive’ the game. In response, Vahn claimed he had “PTSD” from the last time Black Ops incorporated the advanced movement system into their beloved series. 

With that being said, jetpacks haven’t yet been officially taken off the table, and until that happens, there’s a chance that they could make a return to the series. However, given Vonderhaar’s aversion at the mere mention of them, it’s likely that players will be going ‘boots-on-the-ground’ — which also aligns with rumors of a prequel.

Black Ops prequel in the Cold War?

The Cold War spanned well over four decades following WWII, with the Black Ops story being placed slap-bang in the middle (running between 1961-68). 

Since we already know that Sledgehammer were originally at the helm, what better way to conveniently move on from their previous title than to set your plot at the inception of the Cold War? Considering that Sledgehammer’s last entry was based around the events of ‘Operation Overlord’ from WWII — a mere three years before the Cold War-era.

Per a report from GamesRadar, the campaign is set to span across the entirety of the Cold War. Meaning that the events of the Korean War in the 1950s (which is yet to appear in a Call of Duty campaign) would be covered. 

Moreover, the narrative would smoothly transition into the events of Black Ops and thus act as a prequel for the series, while simultaneously bridging the gap between Treyarch’s debut title ‘World at War’ and their staple series. Definitely food for thought…

Alex Mason from Black Ops.
The Vietnam War was set in the Cold War-era, and has previously played a part in Black Ops’ campaign.

While we have not received any official confirmation on whether a Cold War prequel is the definite play from Treyarch, it could be the most logical solution from a production standpoint. How else are they going to chop-off a third of a three-year development cycle? 

Building on Sledgehammer’s foundations would likely kill plenty of birds of with one stone, while also serving a purpose in the franchise’s progression. One thing’s for sure, with Treyarch and Sledgehammer both chipping in with their creative inputs, Call of Duty 2020 is shaping up to be another enthralling addition to the franchise.

Call of Duty

CoD 2021 leaks: Release date, next Call of Duty developer, rumors

Published: 15/Jan/2021 17:11

by James Busby


From credible rumors to speculated release dates, find out everything you need to know about Call of Duty 2021. 

The ever-popular Call of Duty series has remained a staple pick for those looking to show off their quick reflexes and eagle-eyed aim. Whether you enjoy futuristic firefights or prefer the boots on the ground approach, Call of Duty has delivered numerous experiences over the years.

From the brutal battlefields of WWII to present-day conflicts, the series has continually visited and revisited numerous theatres of war with each new entry. 

With the next title on the horizon, let’s run through everything we know about CoD 2021. 

CoD 2021 release date

Black Ops Cold War screenshot
Activision / Treyarch
Black Ops Cold War is the latest title to be released.

As of writing, we don’t have an official release date set for Call of Duty 2021. However, that hasn’t stopped us from making an educated guess. By following similar CoD release title trends, it’s fair to speculate that the game will release in early to mid-November. 

After all, the previous Call of Duty games all had November releases. Here’s a brief timeline of previous CoD release dates: 

  • Call of Duty 3: November 7, 2006
  • Modern Warfare: November 7, 2007
  • World at War: November 11, 2008
  • Modern Warfare 2: November 10, 2009
  • Black Ops: November 9, 2010
  • Modern Warfare 3: November 8, 2011
  • Black Ops II: November 13, 2012
  • Ghosts: November 5, 2013
  • Advanced Warfare: November 4, 2014
  • Black Ops III: November 6, 2015
  • Infinite Warfare: November 4, 2016
  • WWII: November 3, 2017
  • Black Ops 4: October 12, 2018
  • Black Ops Cold War: November 13, 2020

While Infinity Ward changed things up with the release of Modern Warfare on October 25, 2019, it is more than likely that CoD 2021 will keep to the usual November schedule. 

Call of Duty 2021 developer

Call of Duty WWII screenshot
Activision / Sledgehammer Games
Sledgehammer’s last release was Call of Duty WWII.

So, now that we have an idea of when Call of Duty 2021 could release, who exactly is in charge of developing it? Well, if we take a look at the development cycle of the franchise, we might just get a few clues. 

Firstly, the three main studios developing the core Call of Duty games are Infinity Ward, Treyarch, and Sledgehammer Games. Raven Software could be given the reigns, but this is unlikely, especially given they mainly focus on assisting each studio. 

The last four CoD games were developed by the following studios: 

  • Black Ops 4: Treyarch (2018)
  • Modern Warfare: Infinity Ward (2019)
  • Warzone: Infinity Ward / Raven Software (2020)
  • Black Ops Cold War: Treyarch / Raven Software (2020)

Judging from the timeline above, the most obvious candidate for Call of Duty 2021 is Sledgehammer Games. The developers behind CoD WWII have been missing from action since 2017, which would indicate that they have been busy working on the next big release. 

Sledgehammer Games and Raven Software were tasked with releasing the next CoD game in 2020, but disagreements between the two arose, leading Treyarch to take the lead role. Sledgehammer’s title was then developed into Black Ops Cold War.

Quite how much of the project was reworked into Cold War remains to be seen, but it does seem likely that Sledgehammer Games would use this time to begin working on another title. If this wasn’t evident enough, last year, Sledgehammer reportedly hired 150 new staff and stated that they were actively working on multiple projects

Combine this with the fact that Infinity Ward has only just wrapped up development on Modern Warfare and Treyarch is still busy working on content for Black Ops Cold War – and you have a pretty strong case. 

Call of Duty 2021 rumors

Advanced Warfare screenshot
Activision / Sledgehammer Games
Could a prequel to Advanced Warfare be in the works?

There have been a lot of rumors surrounding Call of Duty 2021, with many fans speculating that the Sledgehammer could be making another entry in the Advanced Warfare series. However, renowned Call of Duty leaker, Tom Henderson believes that if that is the case, the game will be a prequel. 

“Warzone is going to have a Sledgehammer Games integration,” says Henderson. The whole purpose of Warzone is to convert free-to-play players into paid players by purchasing whichever title is integrated at the time. I just can’t see an EM1 laser rifle being in Warzone, it just doesn’t make sense to me.”

This would be a jarring experience, particularly given Warzone’s arsenal currently utilizes real-world weaponry. Having highly futuristic guns could also upset the current balance of the game as well, an area Activision is constantly aiming to control. 

“Maybe we could see a Call of Duty WWII title, possibly like WWII but maybe a prequel or sequel. It would make a lot more sense for the weapons to be integrated into Warzone. It could be a modern or even a future title, but not set too far into the future where it wouldn’t make sense for the Warzone integration.”

While Henderson’s leaks have been correct in the past, these are just rumors and should be treated lightly. 

Call of Duty 2021 leaks

As for Call of Duty 2021 leaks, there has been no footage, screenshots, or box art showcasing the new title. Of course, you can expect to see the usual photoshopped images, blurry box art, fake emails, and rickrolls that come with every new Call of Duty release. 

Once we have any credible information, we’ll update this section further. 

Make sure you bookmark this feature and check out our Call of Duty hub for all the latest CoD 2021 news.