Activision has several development teams under their wings, however all original visions have seemingly gone, with almost all of those teams now working on Call of Duty or Skylanders. High Moon Studios, the developers of Deadpool and the Transformers titles have issued a job description for a Senior Lighting Artist. The job calls for someone using the Radiant engine – the idtech level editor which Call of Duty is built upon. High Moon’s previous titles ran on Unreal Engine 3, so the change to CoD technology infers that the team is now working on Call of Duty related material.
High Moon joins Treyarch, Infinity Ward, Sledgehammer, Raven and Neversoft as Activision owned development studios who are only working on Call of Duty, with Raven and Neversoft working on just maps. Vicarious Visions and Toys for Bob are both tasked with the Skylanders property. You can say that at least the studio isn’t being closed down and instead is being amalgamated into the Call of Duty reams, but surely this amount of manpower for one series just isn’t healthy.
What does this mean for Activision? They’re literally pinning all their profits on Call of Duty and Skylanders – outside of profit from owning Blizzard – with the only other title on the horizon being the much hyped Destiny, another IP that could easily be mass produced for yearly instalments. Call of Duty has become a joke that has already begun to lose sales. The sales are still ridiculous, but a decline is becoming clear. If there is a big CoD crash one day, then that puts thousands of developers out of work.
New IPs are hard work, but pumping money into multiple titles rather than just one at least widens your market net.