Call of Duty developer Infinity Ward is hiring for a game coming to the next generation of consoles, so if the developer’s next Call of Duty installment is on schedule for 2019, we could see new hardware sooner than expected.
A job listing for a temporary narrative scripter was recently posted to publisher Activision’s SelectMinds application portal. The job listing doesn’t specify the project or hardware the scripter will be involved with, but it does reveal that the scripter will work on an “unannounced title for multiple next-gen platforms,” which presumably refers to the next PlayStation and Xbox consoles.
With last year’s Call of Duty: WWII developed by Sledgehammer Games, and this year’s Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 developed by Treyarch Studios, Infinity Ward is next up in Activision’s three-developer rotation to launch a Call of Duty installment in 2019. The studio has never worked on anything other than Call of Duty, and it would be far too early to hire for the next cycle of the developer rotation (Call of Duty 2022), which leads us to conclude that this scripter must be getting hired for the studio’s upcoming Call of Duty game.
This tells us that Call of Duty 2019 is seemingly in development for next-gen platforms, potentially launching alongside the systems or shortly before, similar to how Call of Duty: Ghosts was released on the PS4 and Xbox One. If these launches are intended to sync up, it would put the consoles less than two years out, which would go against statements made by Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO John Kodera, who projected the PlayStation 5 was still at least three years away, with the next Xbox expected to be similarly far off. All of this considered, the possible scenarios are as follows: this scripter isn’t involved with Call of Duty; Infinity Ward will delay its next Call of Duty game beyond 2019; the next generation of consoles will arrive sooner than expected; or the “multiple next-gen platforms” mentioned in the listing aren’t for the new PlayStation or Xbox. Somehow, all of these seem equally unlikely.
The other hint this job listing gives us about Infinity Ward’s next Call of Duty is that it may return single-player campaigns to the series. Treyarch announced that Black Ops 4 would forego a story campaign to focus on multiplayer, which did not sit well with many fans. Infinity Ward is apparently not taking the same direction with its iteration of Call of Duty, as the qualifications for the job listing request someone with a “cinematic ear for dialogue pacing,” a “strong desire to bring life to game characters through naturalistic and cinematic implementation of vocal performance,” and—most importantly—a “broad understanding of both multiplayer and single-player game design,” all of which allude to the return of a single-player campaign.
We still don’t have any details on what to expect from Call of Duty 2019, except that it will be “extraordinary”, assuming that it is indeed Infinity Ward’s year. Reports suggest that the game will continue the Modern Warfare subseries with Modern Warfare 4, but it will likely be a while before we know anything for certain.