Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III developer Sledgehammer Games has responded following the game's controversial release, saying they are "incredibly proud of Modern Warfare III".
The latest entry in Activision's long-running annualised shooter series has been reviewed poorly, currently sitting at a 53 average on Metacritic, with the common consensus being that the campaign is a short and hollow experience with an underwhelming story, poor stealth mechanics and lots of reused content.
The PS5 version's trophies show up as DLC for Modern Warfare II, which has led people to believe the game was intended to be an expansion and not a full game before it was changed, and a report from Bloomberg's industry veteran Jason Schreier states that was indeed the case.
The report claims that a dozen employees have stated Modern Warfare III was developed in just 16 months, despite being upgraded to a full main series entry, which usually have a three-year development cycle.
Those 16 months were reportedly full of crunch (extreme mandatory overtime), and Sledgehammer's employees are upset after being told that wouldn't happen to them again after crunching hard on Call of Duty: Vanguard.
A statement from the developer's head Aaron Halon on Twitter/X has tried to paint a brighter picture of the situation, whilst also denying the reports.
Statement from Aaron Halon, studio head, SHG.
“We’re incredibly proud of Modern Warfare III – both the full game experience at launch and the upcoming year of content we have planned for the community. On behalf of the extremely talented team across Sledgehammer Games and our…
— Sledgehammer Games (@SHGames) November 9, 2023
It reads: "We're incredibly proud of Modern Warfare III – both the full game experience at launch and the upcoming year of content we have planned for the community.
"On behalf of the extremely talented team across Sledgehammer Games and our partner studios with whom we've collaborated on development, this has been a labour of love to lead the first ever back-to-back sequel in Call of Duty. We cannot wait to see our community's reaction to all that the entire game has to offer, across Campaign, Multiplayer and Zombies.
"From the start of development, we have all been laser focused on creating the next groundbreaking Call of Duty game. Long before we wrapped up our previous game, we heard loud and clear from fans about the desire to stay and play together for longer within the same series. And that's what we've delivered – the first true sequel in franchise history. It is also why we added features like Carry Forward for the first time to honour the investment our players have made in the Modern Warfare series.
"We're proud to be the team to lead the way on Modern Warfare III. We have worked hard to deliver on this vision which has been years in the making. Anything said to the contrary is simply not true – this is our game and we cannot wait to play it online with all of you."
All eyes are on Activision's new owner Microsoft to see how it will deal with the situation. Will it end the crunch and annualised releases, or will it allow things to continue as is in order to get big returns on its $69 billion purchase?
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