|Founded||July 21, 2009|
|Founders||Michael Condrey, Glen Schofield|
|Headquarters||Foster City, California, United States|
|Aaron Halon (Studio Head)|
|Products||Call of Duty series (2011–present)|
Number of employees
|Subsidiaries||Sledgehammer Games Melbourne |
Sledgehammer Games Toronto
Sledgehammer Games, Inc. is an American video game developer company formed in 2009 by Glen Schofield and Michael Condrey. The pair formerly worked at Visceral Games and are responsible for the creation of Dead Space . The company is an independent, yet wholly owned subsidiary of Activision [ better source needed ] and is based in Foster City, California. The studio is known for developing or co-developing various video games in the Call of Duty series.
Sledgehammer Games co-founders Schofield and Condrey worked together at Electronic Arts in 2005 on 007: From Russia with Love , with Condrey as director and Schofield executive producer. The collaboration carried forward to Dead Space. The two men had complementary skills and similar backgrounds—middle class with fathers in the construction business.
After founding Sledgehammer Games on July 21, 2009, Schofield and Condrey made Activision a proposal: they would attempt to replicate their success with Dead Space, with a third-person spin-off of the Call of Duty franchise. Activision sat on the proposal for weeks until Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick offered to bring the studio into the Activision fold. Schofield and Condrey accepted, viewing Activision's independent studio model as an opportunity to preserve the company's creative culture, development methodology and staff, while having the security of an alliance with the industry's largest publisher.
Sledgehammer Games spent six to eight months working on the Call of Duty project in 2009, enough to produce a prototype with about 15 minutes of play.The game would have reportedly extended the franchise into the action-adventure genre, but a legal battle between Infinity Ward, the studio behind the Modern Warfare franchise, and co-founders Jason West and Vince Zampella resulted in the pair's departure. They took several Infinity Ward employees with them to their new company, leaving Activision with about half the staff and a deadline of about 20 months (versus a typical 24 months) to complete the next game in the franchise, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 . Activision requested that Sledgehammer Games stop work on the third-person shooter and collaborate with Infinity Ward instead.
The offer was a gamble for both sides. Activision was calling on a studio that had not put out a game on its own, while Sledgehammer Games would be abandoning weeks of work in the genre they were most familiar with to take on a punishing schedule in a high-profile franchise. Infinity Ward was more likely to receive credit for any success while Sledgehammer Games was apt to be blamed for any failure. The studio first polled its staff and got unanimous approval. "It was a massive risk for Schofield and Condrey's new studio, and one that most outside of the industry never considered", wrote Ryan Fleming in Digital Trends. "The Infinity Ward name was the marquis on the Modern Warfare franchise, but failure to deliver on Activision's golden egg would have resulted in a wave that crippled those in its path. Looking back at the success of that game and franchise as a whole, it is easy to overlook the chance Sledgehammer took."
The collaboration with Infinity Ward marked the first time a co-development relationship would produce a Modern Warfare title, with both companies' logos appearing on the packaging. Despite the companies’ differing histories and development methodologies, GamesTM called the arrangement a rare symbiotic relationship for such a high-profile game. The two teams first met in the spring of 2010 to compare ideas. There was some overlap: both teams wanted to set the game in Europe and, recalled Schofield, achieve a “payoff on the story that had been told over the last four years.”
It was announced in February 2014 that Sledgehammer Games would be developing a new Call of Duty title, slated for release in late 2014. On May 1, Game Informer teased a high resolution image of a soldier wearing an exo-skeleton suit. It was also announced that more details, the cover, the full name, and a trailer would be released on May 4. However the trailer was leaked which confirmed the release of Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare on November 4, 2014.
On April 21, 2017, Sledgehammer Games and Activision announced their next Call of Duty game, titled Call of Duty: WWII . It was released on November 3, 2017.
In February 2018, Glen Schofield and Michael Condrey left Sledgehammer Games but still working with Activision.In December 2018, Condrey subsequently left Activision to start a career with 2K Games in the Bay Area with 31st Union. Schofield also left the studio to found Striking Distance.
In 2019, while working on Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War , the 2020 entry in the series, with Raven Software, the two teams had differing ideas on the game. This led Call of Duty publisher Activision to bring in fellow developer Treyarch to take over the lead development role for Black Ops Cold War, while Sledgehammer and Raven Software took on partner roles.
Sledgehammer opened a new studio in Melbourne, Australia by September 2019.In May 2020, Sledgehammer Games COO Andy Wilson confirmed that the studio was now a multi-project studio with over 200 employees, with plans to hire up to 100 new employees over the next year.
In May 2021, Sledgehammer announced the opening of a new studio in Toronto, Canada.
Sledgehammer Games operates out of a custom-designed studio with an open-plan space, high-end development equipment, and a theater.Schofield oversees the company's creative effort; Condrey its business operation. The core development team includes Creative Director Bret Robbins, Audio Director Don Veca, Animation Director Chris Stone and Senior Development Director Aaron Halon.
As of February 2013, Sledgehammer employs about 200 people, with an unusually low turnover of under 1 percent. New employees are given a challenge coin engraved with the Sledgehammer Games' values. The tradition dates back to a World War I practice of giving soldiers coins with a squadron's insignia that could be used to prove membership.
|2011||Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3||PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Windows||Co-developed with Infinity Ward|
|2014||Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare||PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Windows|
|2017||Call of Duty: WWII||PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Windows|
|2019||Call of Duty: Modern Warfare||PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Windows||Assisting with Infinity Ward|
|2020||Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War||PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Windows||Assisting with Treyarch and Raven Software|
|2021||Unnamed Call of Duty game||TBC|
Raven Software Corporation is an American video game developer based in Wisconsin and founded in 1990. In 1997, Raven made an exclusive publishing deal with Activision and was subsequently acquired by them. After the acquisition, many of the studio's original developers, largely responsible for creating the Heretic and Hexen: Beyond Heretic games, left to form Human Head Studios.
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Glen Schofield is an American video game artist, designer, director, and producer, he is currently the CEO of the Striking Distance Studios. He was formerly the vice president and general manager at Visceral Games, and the creator and executive producer of the third-person survival horror video game Dead Space. Trained as an artist, Schofield has developed some 50 games, from children's titles to action, that have grossed more than $3 billion in revenues.
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Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 is a 2011 first-person shooter video game, jointly developed by Infinity Ward and Sledgehammer Games and published by Activision. The game was released worldwide in November 2011 for Microsoft Windows, the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Wii. It is the third and final installment in the original Modern Warfare saga, a direct sequel to 2009's Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, and the eighth Call of Duty installment overall. A separate version for the Nintendo DS was developed by n-Space, while Treyarch developed the game's Wii port. In Japan, Square Enix published the game with a separate subtitled and dubbed version.
Call of Duty: XP 2011 was the first annual convention hosted by Activision to celebrate their video game series Call of Duty. The convention was held in Los Angeles, California from September 2–3, 2011 in and around a 12-acre hangar where developer Infinity Ward showcased their upcoming game, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 and online service Call of Duty: Elite. The convention offered fans an opportunity to observe and participate in various events and attractions such as a $1 million tournament, live performances from various artists, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 multiplayer, paintball, jeep off-roading, zip-lining, and a full-scale replica of Burger Town from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.
Michael Condrey is the co-founder and former studio head of Sledgehammer Games, which he founded with Glen Schofield after their collaboration on the popular video game franchise Dead Space. He is now the president of 31st Union, a 2K studio located in Silicon Valley, California.
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Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare is a 2016 first-person shooter video game developed by Infinity Ward and published by Activision. It is the thirteenth installment in the Call of Duty series and was released worldwide for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on November 4, 2016.
Call of Duty: WWII is a 2017 first-person shooter video game developed by Sledgehammer Games and published by Activision. It was released worldwide on November 3, 2017 for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. It is the fourteenth main installment in the Call of Duty series and the first title in the series to be set primarily during World War II since Call of Duty: World at War in 2008.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare is a 2019 first-person shooter video game developed by Infinity Ward and published by Activision. Serving as the sixteenth overall installment in the Call of Duty series, as well as a reboot of the Modern Warfare sub-series, it was released on October 25, 2019, for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.