Sledgehammer always planned MW3 as an Infinity Ward sequel

Sledgehammer always planned MW3 as an Infinity Ward sequel
Images via Activision

Written by 

Alex Garton


15th Sep 2023 13:55

With Activision and Sledgehammer Games finally showing off the remastered MW2 (2009) maps coming in Modern Warfare 3, excitement is at an all-time high for the title.

However, this wasn't always the case for MW3, with a lot of fans assuming, when it was announced, that the game would not release with enough content. There were worries it may be more of an MW2 expansion than a game in its own right.

A lot of the community believed Infinity Ward had dropped the ideas for MW3 in Sledgehammer's lap and expected it to pick up the pieces.

Sledgehammer have been working on MW3 for a long time

MW3 Price
Click to enlarge

According to Creative Director Dave Swenson, that's not the case. Swenson revealed in an interview with The Guardian that Sledgehammer has been working on MW3 since MW2 (2022) was in development.

Talking to The Guardian, Swenson revealed that they met up with Infinity Ward during the development of MW2 and spent a lot of time "coordinating."

"We set everything up in Modern Warfare II to be able to pay things off in Modern Warfare III, It was all very purposeful," said Swenson. This should give the Call of Duty community a lot more confidence in the upcoming MW3 storyline, as it's unlikely to have been rushed.

As Sledgehammer met up with Infinity Ward such a long time ago, it's obvious a tremendous amount of planning went into the campaign. With fan-favourite characters like Captain Price, Ghost, and Makarov involved, it's key that Sledgehammer nails this narrative.

How did CoD writers plan MW3's story & campaign?

MW3 game
Click to enlarge

Alongside Swenson in the interview, Narrative Designer Shelby Carleton shared how the early stages of a Call of Duty story are planned out.

"A lot of whiteboards and a lot sticky notes! We stuck on notes containing the story beats we wanted for the different characters, the plot points we wanted to hit, the cool level ideas," said Carleton.

"It’s like you have a puzzle in front of you, I think this is partially why working on a sequel is interesting, because you’re picking up threads."

It's always interesting to get an insight into the behind-the-scenes planning for the major CoD titles, and how the team brings their ideas together into a single narrative. The stakes are high for MW3, and with Makarov returning, the stage is set for an incredible storyline. Let's hope Sledgehammer can pull it off.

Alex Garton
About the author
Alex Garton
Alex is a Senior Writer at GGRecon. With a BA (Hons) in English, he has previously written for Dexerto & Gfinity. Specialising in Call of Duty & Apex Legends, he loves (attempting) to improve his aim in competitive shooters and will always make time for a single-player RPG.
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