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Modern Warfare 3 was reportedly developed in just 16 months

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 and some of its creators reportedly suffered from a rushed development cycle that saw the game’s campaign made in about 16 months.

Over a dozen current and former Call of Duty developers told Bloomberg that the project initially started life as an expansion to last year’s Modern Warfare 2, which would have taken place in Mexico and have been achievable in that timeframe.

However, it’s claimed that Activision executives later rebooted the project, telling developers at Sledgehammer Games that it would instead be a full-blown sequel featuring the globe-trotting adventures that the franchise has become known for.

Some staff, who reportedly had to work nights and weekends to finish the game, said they felt let down because they’d been promised that this type of crunch wouldn’t happen again after the studio’s previous game, Call of Duty: Vanguard, was made under a similarly constrained development cycle.

Developers also expressed frustration at having to seek content approval from original Call of Duty developer and Modern Warfare sub-series creator Infinity Ward, a process which was reportedly inefficient and sometimes resulted in significant and unwanted changes having to be made.

An Activision spokesman denied that the project was originally planned as an expansion, claiming that it was conceived as a “premium game” from the outset.

Sledgehammer studio head Aaron Halon told Bloomberg some developers may have believed the game was an expansion because it is “a new type of direct sequel” to Modern Warfare 2 that, for the first time, allows players to carry forward many weapons and cosmetic items from one game to the next.

In a publicly released statement, Halon added: “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.”

Modern Warfare 3 was reportedly developed in just 16 months

Modern Warfare 3’s campaign has been poorly received by critics who received access to the game ahead its release today.

“Sold as a pre-order bonus and given about as much thought, Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3’s single player offering is a short, shallow waste of time that feels less like a video game and more like a contractual obligation,” according to VGC’s review.