Things are happening all over the place when it comes to Call of Duty-related news. First there was the expected May 4th reveal of the upcoming Call of Duty title, which was then beat out by Destructoid to reveal the name and trailer for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare by Sledgehammer Games. Now it seems like fellow series developer Infinity Ward is set to merge with Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater series developer Neversoft, according to Giant Bomb.
The news comes through an internal memo sent out by the CEO of Activision Publishing, which somehow Giant Bomb were able to obtain. The cost of the merger means that the Neversoft name will be cast aside, as well as Neversoft Studio head Joel Jewett and studio director Scott Pease setting off for retirement from the games industry (at least in the interim). Infinity Ward is expected to continue developing Call of Duty games, with no other titles mentioned or announced in the memo.
For those like me who were ardent fans of the Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater growing up in the late 90′s and early 2000′s, the news that Neversoft is no more is a bitter pill to swallow. While there were extreme sports games around during the time the series started, none quite had the lasting impact and effect on the genre quite like THPS 1, 2 and 3. However, with the only game development for the company in the past 3-4 years being the Exctinction Mode for Call of Duty: Ghosts and previously working on Guitar and Band Hero games since 2007 (a market that has quickly dried up), the timing of the merger seems to be about right for the company.
Hopefully, with the added staff from Neversoft and the extra year development time to create their Call of Duty entries, Infinity Ward will find new ways to innovate first person shooter gameplay going forward.
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