Call of Duty: Ghosts marks the "end" of the Modern Warfare series, Infinity Ward's community manager Tina Palacios told OXM and other journalists at a press event over the summer. This sounds pretty unequivocal, but when we approached Palacios after our hands-on for extended thoughts, she wasn't quite as firm. There's hope for you yet, Captain Price.
Ghosts obviously takes a fair few cues from Modern Warfare - the title and logo art recalls one Simon Riley, Modern Warfare 2's all-star Mancunian and skull-faced dealer of death - but the influence appears skin-deep for the moment. "With the storyline, we knew that we wanted to end the Modern Warfare franchise, and we wanted to go in a new direction," observed Palacios.
That's not to say that Modern Warfare is gone for good, however. "I can say that our focus and only focus is on Ghosts right now as it is, and we have no other plans at this time," she went on, adding that "when we were creating Ghosts, we really got inspired by Ghost from Modern Warfare 2, just by how he looks.
"It made sense for these soldiers we have in Ghosts who want to hide their identities would have the same masks and face paint. I think it would be safe for me to say that just knowing the characters from our previous games didn't have a backstory, that's what really pushed us forward. We thought we need to really establish that."
Infinity Ward isn't the only studio that works on Call of Duty, of course - there's also Sledghammer and Raven Software to account for. It's rumoured that Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 4 is in development at Neversoft, developer of the Guitar Hero series. Per an old Tweet from Captain Price voice actor Bill Murray, it's also suggested that the next Modern Warfare will be a direct sequel to Modern Warfare 3 - hardly a dramatic revelation, if it's true.
Pick up a copy of the new issue for more on the Ghosts campaign, plus thoughts on how the inclusion of Squads Mode could bring about Call of Duty's "second sunrise" as a single player game.