Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg mentioned during our recent Gamescom interview that Call of Duty's current studio cycle will keep the franchise in a lifestyle to which the audience has become accustomed. Although Call of Duty may be an annual franchise, it had been a tennis match between two studios, but earlier this year it was revealed the franchise was now on a three-studio cycle
"That extra year of development time, particularly with the new consoles and the more powerful hardware, has really paid off thus far to iterate, innovate and try new things," said Hirshberg. "To find out which things didn't work and have the freedom to fail in the creative process, so what goes on the disc is the best ideas."
He continued, "The thing that the three-year development cycle allows is these games have gotten so ambitious, we're packing so many different modes of play onto the disc. The things that started off as flyers, like zombies or co-op became their own whole games."
Hirshberg believes that just because the Call of Duty series is annualized, the structure the publisher has set up means the quality of the series is sustainable. He recognizes the skeptics, adding, "Activision has a narrative that doesn't match the reality, which is quite potent."