According to Activision’s (NASDAQ:ATVI) fourth quarter and 2013 earnings report, Sledgehammer Games is developing the next “Call of Duty” title, due for release in 2014. Sledgehammer originally stepped in to finish development on “Modern Warfare 3” following the departure of much of Infinity Ward’s staff.
The addition of Sledgehammer Games as a third “COD” studio changes the historic release cycle that dates back to 2006, when “Call of Duty 3” was developed by Treyarch instead of Infinity Ward. The two developers have alternated development of a “COD” title, releasing one every other year, until now.
Click here for our round-up of possible directions where "COD" 2014 might take gamers.
Sledgehammer Games adds a third developer into the “Call of Duty” release cycle, meaning that each developer will release one title every three years. Activision CEO Bobby Kotick said in a conference call that Sledgehammer’s 2014 “Call of Duty” will be “one of, if not the best” title ever in the series.
“Onslaught” Release Date For PlayStation, PC Announced
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“Onslaught,” the first DLC expansion pack for “Call of Duty: Ghosts,” will release for the PC, PS3 and PS4 later this month. The map pack features four new multiplayer maps, including Fog, Ignition, BayView and Containment, in addition to an assault rifle and A2 sniper rifle called the Maverick and the first Extinction “episode.”
A post on the official PlayStation blog last week told gamers that the “Onslaught” map pack would launch Feb. 6 for PS3 and PS4; however, the post was soon taken down. The PS blog originally said that “Onslaught” would be available for PS3 and PS4 last Thursday at 3 p.m. EST.
Activision then issued a statement to clarify, noting that the “Onslaught” release date cited by the PS blog was incorrect. The first “COD: Ghosts” map pack will officially be released on Feb. 27, roughly one month after the DLC launched on Xbox 360 and Xbox One.
But Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) Xbox One and users have little to gloat over, as the one-month exclusivity of “Call of Duty: Ghosts” DLC content has been plagued this month by an update that actually caused more problems than it solved, including serious framerate issues on the console.
“COD: Ghosts” Multiplayer Framerates Drop On Xbox One
The Jan. 28 update was released by Infinity Ward to prepare the game for the “Onslaught” DLC. Infinity Ward’s stated goal was to implement bug fixes and create a more stable multiplayer experience for tournament play.
However, many gamers complained that “Call of Duty: Ghosts” multiplayer framerate was negatively affected following the update, most notably with low frames per second (fps) on level “Stonehaven.” Eurogamer’s Digital Foundry conducted tests following the update, and noticed that “frame-rates are dramatically impacted when the whole level is in view, with metrics varying between 46-60fps as we run across the landscape.”
The site also noted that screen-tear started appearing on the level, adding judder and making the “drops in smoothness more noticeable.” The site compared current tests to ones run when “COD: Ghosts” launched on the Xbox One. While there were no issues at launch, the most recent update has caused framerate drops to as low as 30 fps when looking down the barrel of a sniper scope.
Digital Foundry reports that it found no issues with the PS4 version of the update. The International Business Times requested comment from Activision and Infinity Ward, and as of this writing has received no response.
Follow Reporter Thomas Halleck on Twitter @tommylikey