When it comes to choosing which project to work on next, Call of Duty: WWII developer Sledgehammer is more democratic than most.
"We've adopted a process since the beginning where we actually will talk to the studio. Every game we do with Activision is a team vote," Sledgehammer co-founder Michael Condrey told the audience at yesterday's 2017 GamesBeat Summit.
So when it was time to choose the subject for their next project, Condrey and fellow founder Glen Schofield did what they always do and asked the team if they wanted to make a sequel to Advanced Warfare, or if they wanted to go back in time and tackle World War II instead.
It wasn't an easy decision, Schofield said. The vote wasn't a majority to start. "We were really proud of [Advanced Warfare]. And [we had to ask ourselves]: Did we want to do a sequel, or did we want to return to the roots of the franchise?"
Ultimately, the allure of making a historical shooter won out, and Call of Duty WW2 was born.
According to Condrey, it was much the same when Sledgehammer first started out eight years ago. At the time, Sledgehammer was working on a "different game;" but given the opportunity to work on Activision's marquee first-person shooter franchise, the studio voted in favor of CoD.
Call of Duty WW2 was announced with much fanfare during a special streaming event last week, where Sledgehammer showed a teaser trailer and revealed that zombies would be back. The main campaign will take place entirely in Europe, beginning with D-Day and continuing through the liberation of Paris and other famous events.
When Call of Duty WWII launches in November, it will be the franchise's first World War II game since 2008's Call of Duty World at War. But for Call of Duty WWII's developers, this is a return to the dawn of the series.
"Having the opportunity to return Call of Duty to its roots was an opportunity we didn't want to pass up," Condrey said.
Neither did the rest of the studio.