Treyarch, known for their work on the Call of Duty franchise, has reportedly fired one of its leads, Jason Blundell. According to GamingIntel.com’s sources, Blundell, who was beloved for his work with Call of Duty Zombies, was given the boot “alongside 9 other executives”.
Unfortunately, Blundell was being dealt a stressful hand. Through his years at Treyarch, he had been given the lead development job for both the zombies team and the campaign team. Leads of just one team in game development typically are paid very handsomely, but they typically are the ones who end up working 60-hour weeks when it’s necessary. Being in charge of two teams for such a well-known franchise would undoubtedly be more than stressful. After a lack-luster campaign in Call of Duty: Black Ops III and a scrapped campaign for Black Ops IIII, Blundell was demoted, and now he is supposedly gone with nine others.
This comes at a strange time for Treyarch, as it was announced back in May that the development team would be taking over the lead role in the creation of the next Black Ops title over Sledgehammer and Raven, two experienced Call of Duty developers that can’t seem to get along. No doubt the studio is feeling the pressure with the series right now, and now ten veterans of the franchise are not only stepping out of the company but out of executive roles.
These layoffs have not been officially addressed by Treyarch. This information all comes from a GamingIntel.com source that they are “confident” on. Regardless of whether or not it’s true, it’s certainly a concerning headline for Call of Duty fans. GamingIntel.com got their hands on this information more than a week ago and seemed to wait for any kind of official statement by Treyarch before publishing their information, but the cat’s out of the bag. It’s hard to say how this will affect future titles, but I would predict a couple of shoddy games coming out through 2022.
@TheGamingRevolution, a popular source of Call of Duty and Marvel news and leaks, has posted several Tweets claiming to have known about these employee terminations for some time. It’s being reported that this all took place earlier in July, but details were kept from the public for privacy reasons. “Jason[ Blundell]’s departure was mainly a result of the pre-BO3/BO4 campaign disasters & the last straw was that he kept drinking & giving away leaks whilst under the influence,” according to @TheGamingRevolution. He added that “It’s really sad, Jason was such a passionate guy and hopefully he’s doing okay and Treyarch can recuperate.”
In addition, he tweeted out this:
Treyarch basically just confirmed that Craig Houston will be the new lead for zombies in place of Jason. pic.twitter.com/s2DREgFXBt
— TheGamingRevolution (@TheGamingRevoYT) July 24, 2019
While this is also simply speculation, the announcement says a lot in just the way it is worded. Craig Houston is currently the lead writer at Treyarch and was brought on in 2006, likely mid-development of Call of Duty: World at War.
Brandon is a young writer who loves going deep into games to explore meaning, purpose, and life. He believes that there’s nothing better than getting lost in a world full of characters to love and lessons to learn. He has a special place in his heart for single player games such as Mass Effect and Life Is Strange, but he also blows off some steam playing some of his favorite multiplayer games, like Paladins.