Word has begun spreading around, originating from Next-Gen.Biz, about Infinity Ward potentially looking to secure exclusive development of the Call of Duty franchise.

As many CoD fans should know, the games were originally spearheaded by the gang at Infinity Ward, as the first two games were developed by the team. Following CoD2, Treyarch took the responsibilities of CoD3, in addition to a few spin-offs, while Infinity Ward began work on Call of Duty 4.

Well, after enormous critical acclaim, absurdly huge sales, and a welcomed breath of fresh air, Activision had decided to let Treyarch work on Call of Duty 5. Moreover, they'll be taking the series back to the beaten-deader-than-a-dead-horse World War II scenario. This decision has been met with a lot of anger, seeing as how CoD3 is widely regarded to be the worst of the series, and Treyarch was behind it.

Now that you've been caught up with the drama, let's get back to the topic at hand. This rumor of I.W. attempting to secure exclusivity allegedly comes from a former Activision employee, someone from the recently closed Foster City/Underground studio.

Why could this have credence? Well, apparently, the reason why Activision had shut down their Underground Studio (formerly Z-Axis), is because after they finished Enemy Territory: Quake Wars for the PS3, they were supposed to work on a third-person Call of Duty spin-off.

So why aren't they? The reason why Activision has axed the studio is because Infinity Ward may have very well gotten their wish at working on CoD games exclusively, leaving the Underground Studio with no project to work on, and thus no point to remain in operation. And that, kids, is just how the cookie, has potentially crumbled.

I guess it's worth re-noting that there's a third-person Call of Duty somewhere development, and that Activision plans to release two Call of Duty branded games every year. Hmmm...I'm reminded of another franchise that does the same thing, you may know it as Tom Clancy.

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