Join gaming leaders on the internet at GamesBeat Summit Next this upcoming November 9-10. Learn more about what comes next.
Sledgehammer Games has been considerably expanding through its second decade as one of Activision Blizzard’s big Call of Duty development studios. And now it is expanding into the United Kingdom with a new studio in Guildford, U.K.
The San Mateo, California-based organization is major the launch of Call of Duty: Vanguard, and it is now in its second decade of operation as one of the big studios on the Call of Duty franchise, which has sold more than 400 million copies to date. As Call of Duty expands with Warzone, Zombies, premium games, and Call of Duty: Mobile, so also are the development tasks.
And so it is no surprise to see Sledgehammer Games retain expanding. It previously began studio expansions in Melbourne, Australia in 2019 and Toronto, Canada, in 2021.
As we’ve noted in our stories for a when, it is an explosive time for Sledgehammer, as it is aspect of Activision Blizzard, which the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing sued for sex discrimination and more allegations supporting the lawsuit and a tough culture for contract personnel. Some players have stated they program to boycott Activision Blizzard’s games as a outcome of the lawsuit, and the parent organization has begun removing some Blizzard leaders. But some women working for the company have also stated they favor players to play their games when supporting their bring about.
Three best investment pros open up about what it requires to get your video game funded.
Watch On Demand
Sledgehammer stated today that it is focusing on regions exactly where there is excellent talent, and that is why it chose Guildford.
“Guildford has a long history of video game development, and as a result, there’s a lot of top-tier talent and an existing game dev community there and in the surrounding towns. We’re also an easy reverse commute in from London, which has a huge talent pool,” stated Liz Wyle, common manager of Sledgehammer Games Guilford, in a statement.
The new Guildford studio will companion with teams in the Bay Area, Melbourne, and Toronto to help Call of Duty: Vanguard’s Live Seasons as effectively as future projects planned for the years ahead.
The studio has openings in art, design and style, engineering, animation, user interface and user practical experience, production, audio, and more.
“I’m just really excited to bring our studio brand to the UK, along with the incredible franchise we get to work on. It’s another opportunity to do our own small part to grow the industry, in a place where there’s a huge number of talented developers,” stated Andy Wilson, chief operating officer of Sledgehammer, in a statement. “As we have done in our other locations, we will be looking to build partnerships with schools and universities to help nurture and grow the next generation of talent. It’s not just about finding people who already work in the industry, it’s about providing pathways for those who are looking to get in. I remember that daunting feeling very well and it makes me happy to be providing opportunity, especially as we emerge from a historic pandemic.”
I’ve written about the company’s history a couple of instances in the previous. Sledgehammer started in 2009, founded by former Electronic Arts executives Glen Schofield and Michael Condrey, who worked on the Dead Space franchise at EA’s Visceral Games. They began Sledgehammer in the shadow of EA in San Mateo, California, and started working on a game in the Call of Duty universe. But Activision swiftly enlisted Sledgehammer to work on Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.
That was simply because Jason West and Vince Zampella of Infinity Ward had a dispute with Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick about the management of the Call of Duty franchise and the correct payment of royalties. West and Zampella left to start off Respawn Entertainment (maker of Titanfall) and took a lot of developers with them. Sledgehammer Games had to assistance with MW3, as the game had only about 20 months till its launch and was in a state of disarray. Infinity Ward had to rebuild, and Sledgehammer assumed its function in the rotation alongside Treyarch as one of Activision’s big Call of Duty studios.
Sledgehammer got into the groove as one of 3 big studios working on 3-year-extended Call of Duty projects so that Activision could launch a big Call of Duty game each year. It shipped Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare in 2014, and then it followed with 2017 with Call of Duty: WWII.
Then came Sledgehammer’s personal time to go by way of upheaval.
In late 2017, Brendan Greene and PUBG Corp. (now aspect of Krafton) launched PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds as a cost-free-to-play battle royale game. It became very well known, as did the battle royale game from Epic Games, Fortnite. The leadership turned more than at Sledgehammer, with Schofield and Condrey very first becoming reassigned to a new project and at some point leaving to start off their personal studios. As Schofield and Condrey staffed up their separate firms, an estimated one hundred persons out of 300 developers left Sledgehammer to go elsewhere.
And then the rebuilding started for Sledgehammer. In February 2018, Aaron Halon became the studio head. And Andy Wilson (no, he is not Andrew Wilson, the CEO of rival Electronic Arts) later joined as chief operating officer. Sledgehammer made contributions to Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War, but these responsibilities had been shifted to Treyarch and Raven so Sledgehammer could focus on Vanguard. Fortunately for Activision, Cold War was a enormous hit, as was the accompanying cost-free-to-play battle royale mode Call of Duty: Warzone. Call of Duty: Mobile also took off at the identical time.