Call of Duty: WWII might well have been Advanced Warfare 2, had Activision not asked Sledgehammer Games to turn back to the series’s historical roots.
Activision CEO Eric Hirshberg explained, while speaking to Newsweek, that Activision wanted to return to the WWII focus of the series’s beginning, despite Sledgehammer wanting to make a sequel to the popular and well-received Advanced Warfare. Hirshberg hinted that Call of Duty could return to its other time-periods and sub-franchises, but as of now, the focus is on WWII.
Activision, seeing a trend in fans for a return to the franchise’s roots, asked Sledgehammer, one of the three studios working on the Call of Duty series, to tackle WWII, having faith that Sledgehammer would give the game authenticity and sufficient scale.
The point at which Activision asked Sledgehammer begin work on WWII is unclear, as is whether or not this suggestion was put to the other two companies working on Call of Duty, Infinity Ward and Treyarch. Regardless, the move seems to have paid off, as WWII reportedly broke $500 million in sales in its first three days on shelves.