At one point in time it was believed that Activision was working on a ton of Call of Duty-related projects that would exist outside of the first person shooter genre. While none of those games, most of which have been cancelled, saw the light of day, one has been revealed via a animator's concept video.
The game, which has been appropriately dubbed Call of Duty Tactics, was under development at Vicarious Visions, but was cancelled for one reason or another. If the game had released, though, it would have caught a few people off guard, especially considering where the franchise was going under Infinity Ward.
As a mix between a traditional third person shooter and a tactics-based strategy game, this Call of Duty spin-off would have been a complete departure for the series. In the video below you'll see some of what developer Vicarious Visions was trying to do with the game, or at least the core concept.
Most likely Call of Duty Tactics would have existed as a downloadable title meant to whet the appetites of voracious COD fans between the release of say a Modern Warfare 3 and a Black Ops 2 rather than be a dedicated retail release. Based on the choice of setting and time period for the game, it's safe to assume it was in development before Modern Warfare came out and completely changed the landscape for future Call of Duty titles, much like the also-cancelled Devil's Brigade.
Steve Nelson, an animator on the game, has shared the footage, but wouldn't go into details regarding why it was cancelled. It's true that the tastes of today's gamers have skewed away from the historical shooter (Black Ops notwithstanding) and strategy games are a tough sell unless they are called StarCraft or Command & Conquer, but there could have been a decent amount of potential in a tactics-based Call of Duty game.
It has been such a long time since the series has had time to breath — to get away from always dialing the intensity up to 11 — that a more subdued, thoughtful game might have been refreshing. Alas we will never know.
Would you have been interested in a full game based around this concept? Do you think that Call of Duty should return to World War 2 at some point in the future?