Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 took less than a year and a half to develop

The game may have been the victim of an unexpected change of plans.

Sniper in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.

According to Bloomberg’s Jason Schreier, Modern Warfare 3 was developed in about half the time Call of Duty titles usually take. With only a year and a half to work on the game, development was fraught with issues, Schreier’s sources reveal.

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As Schreier explains, MW3 was originally pitched as a DLC, but the game was suddenly turned into a standalone title to fill in a gap in the company’s release schedule after another 2023 CoD game planned for this year was delayed. This has been denied by an Activision spokesperson, but Schreier insists that “more than a dozen current and former Call of Duty developers said that conflicts with what they were told at the time.”

As you can imagine, having such a short development time required many Sledgehammer employees to work long hours, including nights and weekends. This upset many employees who also complained that they had to make unwanted changes based on instructions from the higher-ups.

Critics have been reacting unfavorably to the threequel, with many criticizing the short campaign, and Schreier suggests that the rushed development “may be contributing to a spate of bad reviews about the game’s storyline.” This may negatively affect the cash cow’s ability to rake in money during a time when Microsoft is looking to profit from its pricey acquisition of Activision Blizzard. Consequently, some MW3 developers hope the corporate seniors don’t judge them too harshly based on the “shortened development cycle that was beyond the studio’s control.”

Not all are convinced that Modern Warfare 3‘s disastrous reviews will significantly affect the franchise’s performance. Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Kevin Tsao doesn’t see it “having a lasting impact on the franchise or on any of Microsoft’s plans with the franchise even if it is universally panned.”

Perhaps most interestingly, it’s revealed that Sledgehammer was originally planning on working on a new title set in Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare‘s world but the project was scrapped. Depending on how much you like that game, it’s either a bullet dodged or an opportunity wasted.

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Smangaliso Simelane
Staff Writer - Smangaliso Simelane is a writer with a passion for all things related to video games. He has been writing about video games since 2020.
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