This year’s Call of Duty covers four fronts. With all-new multiplayer, Warzone, and Zombies modes.
This This year’s Call of Duty returns to World War II, just like the previous entry from main developer Sledgehammer Games, Call of Duty: WWII, did in 2017. Call of Duty: Vanguard, the studio’s upcoming game, will be released on November 5 and will span WWII’s worldwide struggle across four fronts, telling the narrative of what Sledgehammer refers to as the “birth of special forces operators.”
On Thursday, publisher Activision and developer Sledgehammer Games unveiled Call of Duty: Vanguard, offering a fresh perspective on the well-worn Second World War. Players will experience the war through the eyes of four soldiers in the game’s single-player campaign: Sgt. Arthur Kingsley of the British 9th Parachute Battalion; Lt. Polina Petrova of the Soviet 138th Rifle Division; Captain Wade Jackson of the United States’ Scouting Squadron Six (Navy); and Second Lieutenant Lucas Riggs of Australia’s 20th Battalion.
Sledgehammer Games campaign creative director David Swenson revealed during a preview of Call of Duty: Vanguard last week that those four warriors, who were teased in a teaser earlier this week, are based on real-world fighters. Swenson and Vanguard game director Josh Bridge said the firm wanted to focus on big, tide-turning battles in varied settings for the sequel to WWII, with the help of historical expert Marty Morgan.
However, before the Sledgehammer developers got into the specifics of their upcoming game, studio head Aaron Halon addressed Activision Blizzard’s lawsuit against them. Wide-ranging claims have been leveled against the corporation, alleging that it maintains a hostile employment climate, particularly at Blizzard Entertainment. According to a lawsuit filed by California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing in July, the workplace is unfriendly to women, pays them less, and subjects them to sexual harassment, and abusers are not adequately penalized. Halon said that “harassment of any kind goes against everything we stand for as a studio,” and that Sledgehammer is “committed to make sure all team members feel safe […] and respected” regardless of gender or ethnicity. Many of Sledgehammer’s female developers (including former Polygon writer Alexa Ray Corriea) appeared during the presentation to discuss the game’s development.
Following that, Andy Wilson, Sledgehammer’s chief operations officer, discussed the studio’s huge expansion since its inception in 2009. Sledgehammer has expanded outside its primary studio in Foster City, California, to include a site in Melbourne, Australia (with around 150 employees) and another in Toronto. Sledgehammer employs about 450 people, however it isn’t the only company contributing to the game, as it is with prior Call of Duty titles. Raven Software will supervise Call of Duty: Vanguard’s connection with Warzone, the free-to-play Call of Duty battle royale game, while Treyarch will create a Zombies mode for Vanguard that will tie in with the Zombies plot from Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War.