During their financial earnings call today, Activision not only boasted about its sales figures for the year, but also (briefly) revealed some plans for 2011, and what next year will mean for some of the publisher’s biggest series. Chief among them, Call of Duty, Guitar Hero and Spider-Man — all of which will see new (if not multiple, in some cases) releases over the next 18 months.
“In the back-half of 2011, we’ll launch a new, large-scale Call of Duty first-person action title. … The creative talent and resources that we now have devoted to the Call of Duty brand are unprecedented and given the gameplay we’ve seen to date, we could not be more excited about next year’s release,” said CEO Eric Hirshberg, stopping short of confirming whether this would be the still unannounced Call of Duty title from Sledgehammer Games, or if it’s Modern Warfare 3.
Were I forced to hazard a guess, I’d place money on the latter, as we know Infinity Ward has been working on MW3 since last year, and Activision has already said it planned to drop the sequel in fall 2011. However, “first-person action” isn’t really a phrase that’s been used to describe future releases in the past, and that’s exactly what Sledgehammer’s entry was said to be. Hmm.
Hirshberg also commented on DLC, and stated that next year will bring “the largest line-up of digital content ever” for the franchise.
“We remain focused on continuing to bring the Call of Duty franchise to new consumers around the world. In 2011, we expect to enter the year with strong momentum from continued sales of Black Ops and the rest of the CoD catalogue. We’ve added significant resources to the brand and next year we’ll offer Call of Duty community our largest line-up of exciting new digital content ever.“
Map packs for Black Ops are a given, as Treyarch and (apparently) Raven Software are already working on substantial downloadable content, and Microsoft has secured a timed exclusivity on all Call of Duty DLC through 2012. And then there’s that ever-stubborn premium service rumor that keeps on rearing its head. Maybe that will finally go live?
Moving on Activision’s other money-makers, Hirshberg said that 2011 will play host to more Marvel titles, including yet another Spider-Man following Beenox’s well-received Shattered Dimensions, as well as recently announced X-Men: Destiny from Silicon Knights.
After High Moon Studios knocked it out of the park with Transformers: War for Cybertron, a new Transformers game is on tap (which will most likely be a tie-in to next summer’s Transformers: Dark of the Moon), and gamers can expect new installments of the “Hero” franchise, too.
Resumes outed the fact that Band Hero 2 and 3, along with Guitar Hero 7 were already being worked on back May, so we know one of those is bound to arrive, but a developer hasn’t been mentioned. Main Guitar Hero studio Neversoft has reportedly been moved off the series after Warriors of Rock. There’s also the chance one of those other leaked spin-offs might release.