An in-depth report from Kotaku’s Jason Schreier has revealed some interesting details about the goings-on at Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 developer Treyarch. First and foremost, Schreier claims the employees at Treyarch are unhappy with Activision’s decision to implement more and more microtransactions into COD BLOPS 4 in order to drive more revenue.

Treyarch employees have allegedly been left “frustrated” by the situation. We should imagine the constant clash of minds between the creatives and the suits at Activision is probably quite a sight to behold. There’s no way those tasked with the creating the actual games enjoy loading their titles full of microtransactions so there must a constant push/pull dynamic, one which Activision will inevitably always win. 

The article also confirms the previous reports that Sledgehammer Games have been pulled off next year’s Call of Duty. Treyarch will instead by leading development on a new COD Black Ops game which is due to launch in 2020. Sledgehammer and Raven will now be the support studios for Black Ops 5.

We’re definitely interested in when this decision was made, particularly in terms of how much time Treyarch has had to react to the news of developing a new title in just two years rather than three. This feeds into Schreier’s reports of pretty extensive crunch at Treyarch in order to get COD BLOPS 4 out the door. This was a game that had a three-year development schedule and shipped without a single-player campaign. 

Black Ops 4’s launch meant an extended crunch period for Treyarch developers, in particular the QA testers who were contracted in. Staff allegedly received a generous bonus once Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 shipped, although all of the contractors didn’t receive any share of this. 

All eyes are going to be on Call of Duty: Black Ops 5 now then. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare looks as if it’s shaping up to be the shot in the arm the series has needed for a while, and now Treyarch will be charged with building on top of that within a very limited timeframe.

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