The co-founders and heads of Sledgehammer Games, the developer behind Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare and Call of Duty: WWII as well as some key elements of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. Michael Condrey and Glen Schofield got their start at EA Redwood Shores and made a name for themselves by creating the legendary survival horror title Dead Space.
The success of Dead Space spurred EA to spin Redwood Shores off into Visceral Games, a more independent subsidiary of EA's stable of studios (which has since been closed down by EA). While that change went down, Condrey and Schofield left and founded Sledgehammer Games, which became one of three studios working under Activision to churn out yearly Call of Duty releases.
The news of their departure comes as a bit of a shock considering that Call of Duty: WWII was the best selling game of 2017. However, it doesn't appear that the duo has left on bad terms. In fact, it seems that they left to pursue bigger opportunities at Activision itself. In statements Activision provided to Kotaku, Schofield wrote, "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." Condrey expressed his gratitude to the men and women working at Sledgehammer Games and explained that he would also be making the leap to his former publisher, "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."
This move doesn't seem like it will affect the release of future Call of Duty titles. Condrey and Schofield have left Aaron Halon, the former senior development director at Sledgehammer, in charge of the studio. The 2018 Call of Duty title is being developed by Treyarch.