When Call of Duty: WW2 was released at the end of last year, it received a much more positive reception than its predecessor, Infinite Warfare, did, with sales numbers reflecting this. Thus, it may be very surprising to many that the developing studio behind the title, Sledgehammer Games, is currently going through some very significant personnel changes.
In a report made by Kotaku, it was revealed that the co-founders of Sledgehammer Games, Glen Schofield and Michael Condrey, have left the development studio after leading it for nine years. Publishing head, Activision later confirmed the news by issuing a statement indicating that Schofield and Condrey “have decided to transition from their duties at Sledgehammer Games to new executive duties inside Activision.”
Activision also released statements attributed to the two heads; both of which seem very positive. In his statement, Schofield thanked Activision “for the wonderful opportunity to create and lead Sledgehammer Games”, but stated that it was now “time to try other things” and that Activision had offered him “the opportunity to focus [his] energy on something [he is] very passionate about, exploring new game ideas for the company.”
Condrey echoed Schofield’s statement, saying that he was proud of what he and Schofield had been able to accomplish at Sledgehammer Games and that he was “looking forward to starting a new chapter of [his] career with Activision.”
Schofield and Condrey formed Sledgehammer Games in 2009, after previously working together at EA subsidiary, Visceral Games, where they had integral roles in creating the critically acclaimed, Dead Space. Soon after the studio was formed, it was purchased by Activision, where it has since played a significant role in the development of new Call of Duty titles, first, in helping Infinity Ward co-develop Modern Warfare 3 and then going on to fully develop their own entries in the series, Advanced Warfare and WW2.
This is not the first time a studio involved in the Call of Duty development cycle has seen significant personnel changes. In 2010, Activision fired Infinity Ward co-founders and heads, Vince Zampella and Jason West, stating “breaches of contract and insubordination” as reasons for dismissal. Infinity Ward have since still gone on to release further Call of Duty titles – whether or not these entries are as memorable as those seen under previous management is dependent on personal preference.
What Schofield and Condrey’s departure means for future titles developed by Sledgehammer Games, still remains to be seen. Hopefully, all new additions to the studio are able to impart positive impacts on future projects.