In a report, High Moon Studios is the developer of the current generation of MW4 or Call of Duty 2014 (whatever the name ends up being), which reflects Eric Hirshberg’s comments that “the current-gen game will be a version of that.” [Source] In the report, High Moon Studios is looking for candidates that have expertise with Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 development.
These positions are either temporary, or permanent depending on the position. The first one is for Associate Technical Artist which is a temporary job. And the interesting part of it states directly that it’s developing for Xbox 360 & PS3:
High Moon Studios, part of Activision Blizzard, is developinga high-profile, First Person Shooter for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Based in Carlsbad, we offer a creative and challenging environment that fosters collaboration, mentorship and camaraderie. We’re dedicated to making successful high quality games, and we are looking for outstanding candidates to join our talented team.
The second job is for a Senior UI Engineer. This time, it asks for a candidate with proficiency in a level design engine called “Radiant Engine.” The reason why it’s significant is because it’s an engine that’s been used in Call of Duty games for quite some time. This does not mean that Sledgehammer Games will not have any input in the game, as a matter of fact, more jobs have popped up at Sledgehammer Games. [Source] The listings talks about bringing Next Gen visuals (from PS4 & Xbox One) to Xbox 360 and PS3 respectively.
Recently, on NeoGAF forums, an industry insider named Pete “Famousmortimer” Dodd gave an interesting comment regarding Activision’s stance towards lead development, and the “why’s” of development being changed…
In talking about Activision’s concern with Xbox One’s sales, and what Activision’s feeling about it…
The worry is, and I think it’s legitimate, that it’s hard to imagine the trajectory holding. They are only out in 13 territories but there’s a reason they don’t give a s#!^ about tier 2 or tier 3, they aren’t going to sell a lot there. The machine was designed for the US first, western EU second. They are behind in both. That is reason for concern.
Furthermore, he goes on to say that PS4 is now the lead platform with MW4 or COD 2014 (whatever it may end up being)… [Source]
I’m not ready to jump on the XB1 is doomed train yet. Titanfall, or really any game, can turn the fortunes, but as of now – yes, good start but valid concerns. The PS4 is above and beyond all projections and publishers are re-calibrating to this. I heard that Activision is going to make a public announcement about COD changing to the PS4 as lead platform. I have no idea if this means DLC (I assume MS locked that down for multiple years) but COD was a Xbox 360 game that happened to be on the PS3 last gen. That will be a hugely symbolic move… and don’t discount what that means to the masses.
And just as an FYI, yes, Microsoft locked down DLC “first” on Xbox Live for multiple years. That contract was expired recently during Black Ops 2 launch in 2012, but Microsoft re-newed it already, as the case is with Call of Duty Ghosts. We’ll have more soon.