A former Activision creative higher-up pitched the company on a new IP, but the Call of Duty publisher didn’t go for it. Glen Schofield, the Dead Space co-creator who later established Call of Duty: WWII studio Sledgehammer Games, spoke about this in a new interview for what appears to be the first time.
“Did a little prototype for them–they didn’t go for it, but they should have,” Schofield told Game Informer.
Schofield pitched this new game–which he didn’t share any more details on–after he left Sledgehammer to take a position at Activision HQ. Sledgehammer’s other founder, Michael Condrey, moved to Activision corporate as well. Schofield teased that Condrey was working on “something” for Activision, while he was spending his own time working on “new game ideas.”
Schofield didn’t say why Activision vetoed his new game idea, and we’ve reached out to the company for comment but haven’t heard back. Whatever the case, Schofield talked about how making new IP is a challenging task. Activision Publishing, which is a part of Activision Blizzard, publishes franchises like Call of Duty, Spyro, and Crash. One of its highest profile new IPs was Bungie’s Destiny, which it published until the companies broke up but never owned outright as Bungie always held the IP rights.
With new IP, companies basically start from the bottom, with the the likelihood of strong return-on-investment potential seemingly not as high as it would be for an established series.
“It’s hard to get a great new IP going, and you’ve got to put time and money and effort into these things,” Schofield said. “We put time and effort into it, and some money, and it just didn’t work out.”
Schofield announced in December 2018 that he was leaving Activision. He left the company with no new job lined up, and that’s something he never thought he’d do. But with Activision not greenlighting his new IP, he said it was the right time to try something new.
“Not seeing the project greenlit–it was time [to leave Activision],” Schofield said. “There’s nothing bitter; everything about my years there were really good. I really enjoyed them. I never thought that [I’d] leave a place without a gig, right? I never thought about that. But nowadays I see why.”
Schofield is now taking meetings for new jobs, and he said he plans to do more networking at the Game Developers Conference later this month in San Francisco. As for Condrey, he landed a high-profile job heading up a new 2K development studio in Silicon Valley.
It’s been tough times at Activision Blizzard of late, as the company recently cut around 8 percent of its workforce in a downsizing that reportedly affected around 800 people.