PlayStation hires ex-Call of Duty developers for possible CoD killer

sony's cod killer

Sony might be looking to make a PlayStation-exclusive Call of Duty killer, and it’s recruiting former developers including some of the biggest names behind CoD: Zombies to do it.

Several former Call of Duty developers are now listing themselves as working on an unannounced Sony project on the social media platform LinkedIn. Jason Blundell, the former creative director for Call of Duty: Zombies and its branching stories, is one of the most high-profile hires. Alongside Blundell are former developers from the Call of Duty series and the ill-fated Deviation Games.

Deviation Games was a studio initially formed in 2020 after several members of the Call of Duty team left the franchise. In June 2021, the studio signed a contract with PlayStation to develop a brand-new IP. On September 2022, Blundell departed from Deviation. A few months later on May 2023, the studio was hit by a massive wave of layoffs, gutting 90 members of its staff in the process.

PlayStation looking to make Call of Duty killer with series now Xbox-owned

Sony is potentially creating a Call of Duty competitor, based on its recent hires.

It’s speculated that Deviation Games was supposed to be “ground zero” for the CoD killer project, but something behind the scenes fell through. Now, many of those devs are being rehired and put to work on a mystery project, with no clear studio at the helm. They may be working on the same project, just not under the Deviation Games name. 

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Call of Duty remains one of the most successful modern gaming franchises. Even though Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 received tons of backlash for its light single-player campaign and technical issues, the game still wound up as one of the highest-selling games of 2023. It just shows that even at its worst, Call of Duty will make money.

However, Call of Duty is part of Activision, which is now owned by Microsoft and effectively part of Xbox. Speculation about Call of Duty being Xbox-exclusive was squashed after CEO of Microsoft Gaming Phil Spencer confirmed contracts with Sony and Nintendo that obliged the company to continue publishing the series across multiple consoles.

10 years isn’t that long though and Sony seems to be future-proofing for the possible departure of Call of Duty from PlayStation. Alongside this new project, Sony is partnered with Halo and Destiny creators Bungie to work on a new PlayStation IP.

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Written by Gab Hernandez

Gab Hernandez has a particular love for video games that give players control over the narrative direction, such as Divinity: Original Sin 2 and Disco Elysium. Gab spends just as much time playing games as they do gushing about them online to anyone who will listen. Their work has also been seen on TheGamer, Gfinity, and Wargamer, and you can follow them on Twitter / X at @HardlyWorkinGab.

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