As the first Call of Duty game to release on current-gen consoles, anticipation for Call of Duty: Ghosts was high but ultimately the game failed to impress reviewers and had significantly lower sales than the previous years' Call of Duty: Black Ops 2.
With Call of Duty 2014 being developed with PS4 and Xbox One hardware in mind, not to mention being the first Call of Duty game developed exclusively by Sledgehammer Games, it does seem like there's potential for this next title to shake some of that franchise fatigue off. Sledgehammer previously collaborated with Infinity Ward on Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 and is now developing the 2014 Call of Duty as part of Activision's new three-year, three-studio development cycle.
Sledgehammer's co-founders, Glen Schofield and Michael Condrey, spoke at a Game Developers Conference presentation this week. GameSpot reports that Schofield touched on their current Call of Duty project, describing it as the "most ambitious, creative game we've ever made." Schofield and Condrey are perhaps known for the original Dead Space, a game that was very creative not only in its visuals but also in its gameplay (aiming for the enemies' limbs rather then their heads or torsos took some getting used to), so that promise is quite ambitious in its own right.
One of the more interesting projects that Sledgehammer was working on - a third-person action-adventure Uncharted-style game set in the Call of Duty universe - got only 6-8 months into development before being scrapped so that Sledgehammer could join Infinity Ward in working on Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. It's possible that some version of this has been revived for the 2014 release - it would certainly shake things up in a franchise that's known for first-person shooters.
It's more likely, however, that Sledgehammer's next title will stick with the series' existing formula and instead get creative in other ways. Previous rumors have suggested that their game will be Modern Warfare 4, and that it will be set in the near future. Could Sledgehammer really have something new up their sleeves, or is the promise of a Call of Duty game more creative and ambitious than Dead Space too much to hope for?
The next Call of Duty game is expected to release this fall, with an official announcement coming soon.