Sledgehammer Games reportedly wanted to work on Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare 2, but Activision turned down the idea and told the studio to work on Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 instead.
According to Bloomberg’s Jason Schreier, upon finishing work on Call of Duty: Vanguard, developer Sledgehammer Games had originally pitched the concept for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare 2 (codenamed Anvil) to Activision, but the publisher shelved it and informed the studio that it was instead going to work on Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.
Additionally, Schreier’s report mentioned that developers at Sledgehammer Games had become frustrated at having to report to executives from Infinity Ward, the primary studio that handles development of the Modern Warfare series, with development updates for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. This led to the development team having to deal with inefficiencies while waiting on feedback. Instructions from Infinity Ward management would have the studio make significant and sometimes unwanted changes to the game.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III is the twentieth installment in the Call of Duty series and the third entry in the Modern Warfare sub-series reboot, serving as a direct sequel to Modern Warfare II from 2022. The game is set to be released on November 10, 2023, for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Windows, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.
The game maintains the realistic, modern setting of its predecessors and continues the sub-series’ storyline. The game’s plot follows the international special operations unit Task Force 141 as they pursue Vladimir Makarov, a Russian ultranationalist and terrorist planning to incite a third World War. The multiplayer component features all 16 base maps from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (2009), remastered, with new maps planned for post-launch. Additionally, it is the first Modern Warfare title to include a Zombies mode.
Sledgehammer Games, after working on Call of Duty: Vanguard in 2021, was initially tasked with creating an expansion pack for Modern Warfare II. However, during development, Activision decided to turn the project into a full, standalone entry in the Call of Duty series. The studio developed the game using IW engine version 9.0. Meanwhile, Treyarch, the primary developer of the Call of Duty: Black Ops subseries, collaborated on the Zombies mode.