The founders of Sledgehammer Games, Michael Condrey and Glen Schofield, are resigning from their posts as co-presidents of the Call of Duty studio, and they are moving on to new roles within Activision.
Condrey and Schofield started the studio in 2009 in San Mateo, California, and Activision acquired it shortly after its founding to make Call of Duty games. They helped develop Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 alongside main developer Infinity Ward in 2011. Sledgehammer became one of three studios that rotated shifts in to produce the Call of Duty games every year. Kotaku first reported the departures.
It’s a big change for Call of Duty, which had more than $ 15 billion in sales in its first decade, from 2003 to 2013. Sales are well over that number now. Call of Duty remains one of the best-selling games every year, with each installment either clearing or coming near $ 1 billion in sales.
In a statement, Activision said, “Following the incredible success of Call of Duty: WWII, Glen Schofield and Michael Condrey have decided to transition from their duties at Sledgehammer Games to new executive duties inside Activision. We thank Glen and Michael for their tremendous body of work on Call of Duty and look forward to continuing to collaborate with them in their new roles. These changes have created an opportunity to elevate one of the key leaders at the studio, Aaron Halon, to lead Sledgehammer Games. Aaron is a founding member of Sledgehammer Games and the natural fit to lead the team. He has over 20 years of industry experience and has played an instrumental role throughout the studio’s history. We congratulate Aaron and are thrilled about the future of Sledgehammer Games, which we believe has even bigger days ahead.”
Sledgehammer’s first solo game was Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, which debuted in 2014. And then it created Call of Duty: WWII for November 2017. That game has had stellar results, with Activision saying it did $ 1 billion in sales within weeks of the November 3 launch.
Before starting Sledgehammer, Condrey and Schofield both ran EA’s now-closed Visceral Games, where they created the original horror game Dead Space.
In a statement, Schofield said, “Michael and I have been collaborating for over 12 years. In that time, we’ve made great games that fans have loved, won awards on behalf of our projects and have lived our dreams. We thank Activision for the wonderful opportunity to create and lead Sledgehammer Games. Now, it’s time to try other things. Activision has offered me the opportunity to focus my energy on something I’m very passionate about, exploring new game ideas for the company. It’s something I just couldn’t pass up. Working with such a great studio of developers at Sledgehammer Games has been an honor and the highlight of my career. The team is in great hands with Aaron, he has my full support and confidence. Thank you to everyone.”
And Condrey said, “We founded Sledgehammer Games to bring together a world-class development team with a singular goal of delivering excellence for fans. Over the course of nearly a decade, Glen and I proudly grew the studio and watched a new crop of leaders emerge within the team. On a personal level, I’m deeply grateful to the men and women who have poured their passion into the pursuit of excellence with us. I’m proud of what we accomplished together, it has been the greatest experience of my professional life. I am looking forward to starting a new chapter of my career with Activision. I couldn’t be more excited for the future of Sledgehammer Games and look forward to seeing Aaron lead the studio to new heights.”
The departures come at a big moment for the franchise, as Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg is also leaving the parent company in March, after eight years overseeing Activision and studios such as Sledgehammer.
Both Condrey and Schofield shared a passion for taking the franchise back to World War II, where it started, with last fall’s game.