Activision isn’t kidding around when it comes to staffing up for support on the Call of Duty franchise. Raven Software, who took over development and support of Call of Duty: Warzone following Infinity Ward, has reportedly hired more than a 100 new employees in the last year. This analysis was done by VGC, who gained these numbers by looking at public LinkedIn profiles to see who updated their place of employment to Raven since August 2020.
And these new hires come from a variety of places across the industry. VGC notes that Raven hired Far Cry 6 game director Ted Timmins, now a creative director for Warzone; Respawn lead animator Manuel Torres Pineda is now doing animation at Raven; and William Fine, once a senior producer on Fortnite, is now working on Warzone; among many others, include “at least 12 producers, nearly 40 programmers and testers, over 30 artists and animators, 10 designers, and more.”
Raven previously fulfilled the role of Activision support studio, having worked on every Call of Duty release since 2010. Now, however, the company has stopped into the role of Warzone’s primary developer as Activision looks to provide ongoing support for the immensely popular free-to-play game that is now at more than 100 million players. VGC’s hiring analysis suggests that the studio has grown by nearly 50% in the last year, and notes that it still has 40 open roles left to fill. Filling those roles would almost triple Raven’s size since 2015, when it had around 150 employees. It currently sits at about 350.
Raven will also continue supporting the premium Call of Duty releases, along with a majority of Activision’s other studios. The publisher reportedly has basically every single studio under its umbrella working on the Call of Duty franchise in some form right now. Activision itself had confirmed in its Q1 2021 earnings calls that it was looking to grow the Call of Duty teams to the tune of adding 2,000 people in various disciplines.
This year’s Call of Duty (reportedly called Call of Duty: Vanguard) is being developed by Sledgehammer and set to be released by the end of the year, with an announcement expected to happen via an in-game Warzone event next month at some point. Warzone is expected to tie into the new Call of Duty in a big way, bigger even than the Verdansk ’84 makeover that we got this year. Explosive growth at the studio developing the next iteration of Warzone would be paramount in making that happen.
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