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Infinity Ward may lose Call Of Duty focus

Rebuilt developer will remain dedicated to FPS, as publisher hints at new franchise

Infinity Ward may no longer focus solely on the Call Of Duty series, as Activision executive vice president Dave Stohl hints at the creation of a new franchise.

Speaking in a new interview with website VG247, Stohl referred to Infinity Ward undergoing "a huge recruiting drive" following the headline-grabbing exit of the studios' two leads and many of the developer's most senior staff.

"Recruiting at Infinity Ward is not a problem. What we’re trying to do is say that Infinity Ward is a culture, it’s a way of doing things," said Stohl.

Asked whether Infinity Ward would remain focused solely on the Call Of Duty brand though Stohl was purposefully vague.

"We’re not saying right now. There is definitely a strong shooter philosophy there, for sure," he said. "And I think that there’s a short- and long-term view on the whole thing. But I think we’re rebuilding a studio that can go off and build great new franchises in the future."

Ironically Activision's refusal to allow Infinity Ward to work on a new franchise is rumoured to be one of the contributing reasons behind the developer's implosion.

Following the meltdown Treyarch has become the lead developer for the franchise, eschewing its work on other properties to concentrate on Black Ops and beyond. "Treyarch is a 100 per cent Call of Duty studio," said studio head Mark Lamia in a CVG interview.

Stohl was also vague on the question of Bungie's future plans, but did indicate that the long-term deal signed with the developer would lead to greater integration into the Activision network than would occur with a normal third-party relationship.

On the possibility of teaming with another big name independent developer, Stohl answered: "Any deal that we do like [Bungie] would have to be something where we have a long-term partnership."

"There are very few of those deals to be done, but I think those are the kind of deals we need to be focused on. That’s in addition to our own internal development. I think that the deals need to reflect that kind of structure for us," he added.

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David Jenkins

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