Modern Warfare 3 devs originally pitched return to the future

Advanced Warfare player using riot shield to protect from opponents. Advanced Warfare is made by Modern Warfare 3 developer Sledgehammer Games
Credit: Activision

Modern Warfare 3 developers reportedly pitched for 2023's Call of Duty title to be set in the Advanced Warfare universe.

Modern Warfare 3 is out now and while there are plenty of players enjoying the return of popular maps and numerous game modes, 2023's release could've looked very different if Sledgehammer Games had its way.

Instead of a direct sequel to 2022's Modern Warfare 2, the developer pitched to create a new title that would mark a return to a futuristic setting for Activision's shooter series. However, before the idea of a game set in the world of Advanced Warfare gained traction, the project was shelved and Modern Warfare 3 was born.

Bloomberg's Jason Schreier reports Sledgehammer Games pitched Project Anvil following the end of the Vanguard cycle. The release would've been set in the Advanced Warfare universe complete with a single-player campaign, a multiplayer with a range of new maps, and an update to the hugely popular zombies mode.

In addition to the scrapped Advanced Warfare game, Schreier reveals the entirety of Modern Warfare 3 was part of 16 months of development hell. Usually, a studio will have three years to develop a new title which would explain why the single-player campaign fell flat.

Despite the short development time, players are enjoying Modern Warfare 3's multiplayer offering. Improved spawns have been met with widespread praise alongside a wealth of movement changes that were initially removed by Infinity Ward for the launch of 2022's Modern Warfare 2.

The short turnaround for a triple-a release such as Call of Duty isn't an ideal situation for developers crunched by a small window and fans expecting a degree of quality from the final product. Thankfully, things could change in 2024.

If rumours are to be believed, Treyarch's 2024 release has had three years of development, meaning expectations for next year's Call of Duty are already high. We'll have to wait and see what the Black Ops developer has in store once the current cycle starts to wind down.

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