Despite its highly praised multiplayer, Modern Warfare 3’s campaign has been panned by both players and critics, and a report from Bloomberg claims the developers were forced to create the campaign in only 16 months.
It was widely believed that 2023’s Call of Duty was going to be an expansion to 2022’s Modern Warfare 2, adding new weapons and maps to the existing game. Activision consistently refuted Bloomberg’s original report, repeating “premium title” in their earnings calls.
CoD 2023 ended up being Modern Warfare 3, a full-fledged $70 release complete with a campaign, multiplayer, and a new take on Zombies. Players got to experience the campaign a week early and the reviews weren’t good. Players slammed it for feeling rushed and weren’t impressed with the new Open Combat missions.
Then, shortly before MW3 went live, Bloomberg’s Jason Schreier reported that Sledgehammer Games were forced to make the game in “half the time of previous iterations.”
According to Schreier’s report, Sledgehammer Games originally planned to develop a sequel to Advanced Warfare but were instead told to create the next Modern Warfare game. All of the developers who spoke to Bloomberg said they were under the impression they were developing an expansion “until much later in the process.”
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With only 16 months to develop the game, Sledgehammer’s developers said they had to work nights and weekends to finish it, despite being promised their next title after Vanguard wouldn’t be rushed. While originally planned as a smaller spin-off story set in Mexico, it became a full campaign with classic antagonist Makarov returning.
Sledgehammer staff also said they had to run their content by Infinity Ward and had to deal with “inefficiencies waiting on feedback,” and make “significant and sometimes unwanted changes based on directives from above.”
To corroborate this report, CharlieIntel sources told us that Sledgehammer wanted to include the fan-favorite Pick Ten System that featured in several CoD games before being removed in MW 2019 and never returning. This allowed players to pick 10 items to create their loadout (it had some variation throughout the years), and many felt removing it was a step back.
Sledgehammer Game studio head Aaron Halon responded to Bloomberg’s report, stating, “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.”
Despite poor campaign reviews, the reception to Modern Warfare 3’s multiplayer has been extremely positive, with players loving the highly requested changes brought to the classic maps.