According to the UK edition of Official Playstation Magazine, the next Call of Duty game, “Modern Warfare 3”, will actually be a MW prequel to the series revolving around supporting character Ghost. Fans of the series have been clamoring for more of Ghost since MW2, and rumors of a spin-off or prequel starring Ghost began circulating since January. In their rumors section, OPMUK mentions “insider whispers” alleging that; “Infinity Ward’s next Modern Warfare title will be a prequel, with Ghost in the lead role.”
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Tagged Activision, Call of Duty, E3, E3 2011, FPS, Ghost, Infinity Ward, Modern Warfare 2, Modern Warfare 3, Modern Warfare Prequel, Modern Warfare: Ghost, Prequel, Rumor
So by now you may have heard that Activision plans to release a second set of “Modern Warfare 2” maps. The “Surplus,” like it’s predecessor, the “Stimulus” Pack, features five new maps – three original maps and two updated versions of maps from the original “Modern Warfare.” The map pack will run you 15 bucks, (1200 MS points) also just like the original. Can’t wait? Well, here are a few images showing off the maps for you to drool over until the DLC is released on Xbox Live on June 3rd.
Unfortunately for those of us playing MW2 on PS3 or PC, the wait is a little longer. Due to an exclusivity agreement between Activision and Microsoft, “Surplus” won’t be released for PS3 or PC users right away. Assuming the agreement is similar to the one made for “Stimulus”, PS3 and PC gamers should expect to get their hands on “Surplus” until early to mid July: “Stimulus” was exclusively available on Xbox Live for 34 days before being released for other forms of download.
As for the maps themselves – Activision is bringing back “Strike” and “Vacant” from MW, and adding three new and decidedly unorthodox locations for the originals. The names “Carnival” and “Trailer Park” pretty much speak for themselves, don’t you think? The last map, “Fuel”, well it isn’t actually so unorthodox – it’s set on an oil rig. Woo Hoo.
In an interview with CVG, Janco Partners analyst Mike Hickey predicted that Activision will shut down “Modern Warfare” developer Infinity Ward after the launch of the second “Modern Warfare 2” map pack. Infinity Ward – a subsidiary of Activision – has been at the center of a major industry scandal, beginning with Activision firing the team’s creative leaders, Jason West and Vince Zampella. Since then, approximately a quarter of the 100-man development team have left the studio, many of them leaving to join West and Zampella’s new EA-Sponsored studio, Respawn Entertainment. Between that and a pair of lawsuits aimed at them, one from West and Zampella and another from Infinity Ward’s employees, it would come as no surprise if Activision decided that cutting their losses was the prudent decision.
Hickey predicted that Activision will divide the development of “Modern Warfare 3” between multiple studios. Though he didn’t mention the non Modern Warfare Call of Duty developers Treyarch and Sledgehammer, they are certainly the likely candidates. Then again, looking at Treyarch’s track record, let’s hope Activision decides to hand their flagship series over to more… prestigious developers.
Modern Warfare fans were confused and upset they heard when Activision bounced developer Infinity Ward’s creative leaders, Jason West and Vince Zampella in March. Now, while still handling two lawsuits with their former employers, West and Zampella have announced the creation of their new studio, “Respawn Entertainment.” Currently, the firm has no concrete project, but West says the project is going to like a “Summer Blockbuster”. The duo also announced that Respawn has agreed to join the “EA Partners” program, giving EA exclusive rights to produce and distribute their projects. EA has also disclosed that they have supported Respawn with “several million dollars” in seed money.
Other than that, very little is publicly known about Respawn. For example, the studio’s Website is a blank page with the name and an e-mail for sending job applications; even with the presumed addition of two high-level Infinity Ward walkouts, lead designer Todd Alderman and lead software engineer Francesco Gigliotti, the company is still looking to build a new design team, which means designers, artists, programmers and so on.
That’s it for now, but there will undoubtedly more on Respawn, Infinity Ward and Activision in the future
UPDATE: Two more members of the Infinity Ward team announced their resignations from the studio tonight. Veteran programmer Jon Shiring and lead designer/writer Mackey McCandlish both said they said were leaving the studio. Shiring worked at Infinity Ward for almost six years, McCandish was with the studio for eight; That’s 14 years between the two of them.
Clearly, this is not a coincidence.
Approximately 500 people gathered in Hyde Park in Sydney, Australia to dress up as zombies and protest the fact that the Australian government won’t create an “Adults-Only” video game rating. Australia is well-known amongst gamers as having very strict censorship laws and very little tolerance for violent imagery; rather than using notices or age restrictions for mature games, the government chooses to censor any game it deems too violent. Most recently, Australian government officials attempted (and failed) to ban “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II”, over the game’s controversial “No Russians” sequence. Other games like “Left 4 Dead 2” are banned from the country in their original form, but are released in a censored, less violent form.