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Call of Duty 7 to be Set in Vietnam

Update: Treyarch has announced that the official title of Call of Duty 7 will be Call of Duty: Black Ops.  It is due out November 9th.

Activision’s in-house development team, Treyarch, are poised to release the next in the series of those “other” Call of Duty games. But it looks like this year might see the end of the tried-and-true (and tried again) formula of World War II that has dominated the Call of Duty franchise right up until Modern Warfare showed that there was money to make away from the historical settings. Lots and lots of money.

According to Venture Beat, the next Call of Duty entry, due out later this year, will be based in Vietnam. This will be the seventh game in the Call of Duty series, and the third from Treyarch. The series has seen one game released per year since Infinity Ward’s original Call of Duty debuted in October of 2003.

Treyarch’s last offering, the World War II based Call of Duty: World at War was released in November of 2008, and quickly became a best seller.

It has been a big week for Activision. From the lows of lawsuits and accusations of prison-like conditions, to today’s game-changing announcement of an exclusive deal with Halo creator’s Bungie, the company will likely be discussed to pieces for months to come.

Vietnam games have rarely done well, but the risk may be necessary since the World War II setting has been mined so deeply, and by many people. It has almost gotten to the point that it can be awkward for the average gamer to meet a German person in real life knowing they have probably slaughtered thousands upon thousands of his or her digital ancestors in increasingly fantastic and graphically pleasing ways.

Yet, even though the choice of Vietnam, or at least the Vietnam era, is something of a logical step between the exhausted World War II era and the next Modern Warfare setting that will be out next year (lawsuits permitting), it is still likely to garner some controversy to set an action game in the middle of an unpopular war that still resonates through America more than 40 years later. Gamers that are burned out on the standard war shooter will likely wait and see what Treyarch offers before judging, but Activision might have difficulty in convincing the average person to play a game set during the Vietnam War.

Details are still scarce, but the game is expected to debut at the end of the year. Assuming it follows the traditional pattern set by the last few games, expect a heavy emphasis on multiplayer, and an engrossing, but short single player experience. Expect to hear more about this game (and hopefully see a playable demo) at E3.

The game will officially debut with a trailer on Spike TV, and on GameTrailers Friday night or early Sunday morning.

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