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Report: Unnamed third studio working on Call Of Duty franchise

Massively multiplayer online game claimed to be in the works

Activision has a third development studio working on a new Call of Duty title, according to a report by the Los Angeles Times.

In a feature focused on the recent record-breaking sales of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, which grossed USD 550 million in five days, the newspaper makes brief mention of a third studio "working on future versions."

Traditionally, series creator Infinity Ward has produced the most high profile releases in the franchise, including the two Modern Warfare games, with Treyarch filling in on alternate years with titles such as Call of Duty: World at War.

Activision has also occasionally used other studios - such as Spark Unlimited for Call of Duty: Finest Hour on PS2, Xbox and GameCube, and Rebellion for Call of Duty: World at War: Final Fronts on PS2 - but these have tended to be lower profile and less commercially and critically successful.

The Los Angeles Times gives no indication as to whether the third studio is internal or third party - or what sort of title it is working on. However it does quote a contact "close to the company" who states that Activision is considering making a massively multiplayer online Call of Duty title.

Online speculation has already targeted the newly announced Sledgehammer Games as a possible fit for the mysterious third studio, although Activision itself has so far failed to comment on the rumours.

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David Jenkins