There's no denying that Call of Duty is huge. Modern Warfare 2, in case you missed it, is the biggest thing in the history of everything, while Treyarch's World at War, often looked down upon as the red-headed stepchild of the series, is a major success in its own right, with 11 million copies sold as of June 2009. So is it really all that shocking that Activision apparently wants to hitch another car to that money train?
That's the deal, according to the LA Times, which in a recent report about the Modern Warfare 2 launch also casually mentioned in passing that the publisher has attached yet another developer to the franchise.
"As Activision seems to be discovering this year with Guitar Hero, there's danger when a title is overexposed with too many iterations. Nonetheless, the publisher has aggressive expansion plans for Call of Duty. Although Infinity Ward and Treyarch have produced sequels in alternating years since 2005, the publisher now has a third development studio working on future versions," the article says.
"One person close to the company said it also was considering adapting Call of Duty as a massively multiplayer online world," it continues. "The genre, in which Activision's Blizzard Entertainment subsidiary is a leader, requires huge upfront investments but can be very profitable as players pay a monthly subscription fee."
There's no indication of which studio has been drafted to the cause, which war they might be taking on or whether the potential MMOG plans tie in with the recent report that Activision is looking at monetizing Call of Duty online gameplay. But as the report notes, even mega-popular franchises like Guitar Hero - or, potentially, Call of Duty - can be threatened by overexposure. Do we really need three studios hammering out games for a single series?
We've dropped a line to Activision seeking confirmation of the report and will update when we hear back.