A number of previous Infinity Ward employees have returned to the studio, departing Respawn Entertainment, and will work on 2019's Call of Duty release.
Of course we have barely had this year's Call of Duty revealed, with Treyarch showing off Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, but some eyes are already turning to next year following these moves.
If unaware, a messy legal battle caused the majority of the Infinity Ward studio to leave back in 2010, after Activision fired studio heads Jason West and Vince Zampella for "breaches of contract and insubordination".
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The team formed Respawn, and since worked on the 'Titanfall' series, the second of which was released in 2016.
The original team were of course behind the creation of both Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare and Modern Warfare 2, and so to have some of the team who worked on these titles back in CoD is big news.
According to a lengthy Reddit post sourcing numerous LinkedIn pages and Twitter accounts, here is a full run down of the staff returning to IW from Respawn.
- Geoffrey Smith (Former Designer at Infinity Ward, Former Lead Game Designer at Respawn, now Multiplayer Design Director at Infinity Ward).
- Joel Emslie (Former Art Lead at Infinity Ward, Former Art Director at Respawn, now Studio Art Director at Infinity Ward)
- Mark Grigsby (Former Lead Animator at Infinity Ward, Former Lead Animator at Respawn, now Animation Director at Infinity Ward)
Some other members from the Respawn team have also left to join Infinity Ward, but were not necessarily on the original IW team.
- Ranon Sarono (Senior Animator at Respawn, now Senior Animator at Infinity Ward)
- John Mundy (Senior Game Designer at Respawn, now Senior Game Designer at Infinity Ward)
- Joshua Dunnam (Senior Environment Artist at Respawn, now Senior Environment Artist at Infinity Ward)
- Dom McCarthy (Producer at Respawn, now Producer at Infinity Ward)
- Madison Cromwell (Art Producer at Respawn, now Associate Producer at Infinity Ward)
Of course it did not take long for fans to begin speculation that these moves back to Infinity Ward would result in a return to the Modern Warfare Series.
However, at this time, there is absolutely nothing known about 2019 Call of Duty, with the exception of this Tweet from the returning Studio Art Director at IW.
So much dev firepower at IW. So much talent. Next game will be insane!
— Joel Emslie (@JoelEmslie1) January 5, 2018
Fans still have until all of the Black Ops 4 hype train to enjoy, before even thinking about jumping to the following year.