Update, 11:28 a.m. ET:
Following a Bloomberg report yesterday claiming Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III, which launched today, originally began as an expansion to last year’s Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II before becoming a full game (with a 16-month turnaround to boot), developer Sledgehammer Games released a statement its X account seemingly indirectly refuting the report. A passage from the statement says,
We’re proud to be the team to lead the way on Modern Warfare III. We have worked hard to deliver on this vision which has been years in the making. Anything said to the contrary is simply not true – this is our game and we cannot wait to play it online with all of you.
You can read the full statement in the embedded post below.
Statement from Aaron Halon, studio head, SHG.
“We’re incredibly proud of Modern Warfare III – both the full game experience at launch and the upcoming year of content we have planned for the community. On behalf of the extremely talented team across Sledgehammer Games and our…
— Sledgehammer Games (@SHGames) November 9, 2023
The original story continues below…
Original story, 8:19 a.m. ET:
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III is finally out for everyone and while many are excited about its take on first-person shooter multiplayer gameplay, especially in that it includes every map from 2009’s Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, the campaign so far has not been well-received by critics and fans. A new Bloomberg report sheds some light on the harsh conditions and quick turnaround developer Sledgehammer Games worked with to get the latest Call of Duty out the door, which might explain the campaign’s mishaps.
Bloomberg reports that for the first few months of the game’s development, it was codenamed Jupiter and featured a smaller-scale spinoff-like story set in Mexico. It was designed this way to account for a faster turnaround compared to previous Modern Warfare campaigns. This follows another report from Bloomberg, which stated Call of Duty would skip 2023 and instead release an expansion or continuation of last year’s Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II.
The report states Sledgehammer Games was pitched on making an expansion to Modern Warfare II, but it eventually morphed into a full game. Publisher Activision Blizzard, which is now owned by Xbox after a $69 billion acquisition, denied this when asked about it by Bloomberg, instead stating that Modern Warfare III was always conceived as a “premium game.” Former and current Call of Duty developers Bloomberg spoke to said they were told it was an expansion.
This mid-development reboot to take the smaller-scale spinoff-like story set in Mexico and turn it into a traditional globetrotting Call of Duty campaign featuring the villainous Vladimir Makarov, who was the villain in 2011’s Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, resulted in the shortest development time for a new game in the series in years, according to the publication. Bloomberg writes that some Sledgehammer Games staff had to work nights and weekends to finish the game on a 16-month development cycle, which is roughly half the time usually allotted for a new Call of Duty.
Bloomberg reports that before Modern Warfare III, Sledgehammer Games had pitched a game codenamed Anvil set in the Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare universe it launched in 2014, but this was quickly shelved for the game now available today. On top of this, since it was developing a game set in Infinity Ward’s Modern Warfare universe, Sledgehammer Games reportedly grew frustrated having to run its plans and content by Infinity Ward executives, which Bloomberg reports led to “inefficiencies waiting on feedback and making significant and sometimes unwanted changes based on directions from above.”
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III is out now on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.
For more, read Game Informer’s breakdown of the best graphics mode for Modern Warfare III and then check out the Modern Warfare III PC system spec requirements. After that, check out this list of every Activision Blizzard series Xbox now owns.
Have you played the campaign of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III? Let us know what you think of it in the comments below!