Activision forms studio to develop new narrative-driven franchise

The logo for Elsewhere Entertainment. It's on a gradient background and under the name it says "adverb: at, in, from, or to another place or other places; anywhere or somewhere else."

Activision is known as the Call of Duty publisher, but now it’s trying something different. The company announced Thursday that it’s formed a new internal studio called Elsewhere Entertainment that is dedicated to developing a “new narrative-based and genre-defining AAA franchise.”

An official blog post notes that Elsewhere is a “standalone studio” inside the company and headquartered in Warsaw, Poland. It’s employing a number of games industry veterans who’ve worked on franchises like Uncharted, Cyberpunk, Destiny, and others. According to LinkedIn, this includes Michal Madej, who worked on the original Witcher at CD Projekt Red and has been with Activision for the past few years. He’s currently listed as a game director.

Elsewhere plans to hire more people for the team; there are already a few job postings up at the time of this writing.

The post also states that the goal is to “craft a franchise with an enduring legacy that resonates far beyond games.” While the post doesn’t go into detail, this seems to imply that the IP could potentially be used for a TV show or film. This would go along with the success of many recent video game adaptations, such as the Fallout show, also owned by Activision Blizzard’s parent company Microsoft.

Elsewhere’s announcement comes at a rocky time in the video game industry, with numerous layoffs and studio closures. Even Microsoft hasn’t been exempt. Just last week, the company shut down Tango Gameworks, Arkane Austin, and Alpha Dog Studios — all ZeniMax Media properties that were acquired in 2021. Earlier this year, Microsoft laid off 1,900 workers from Activision Blizzard and Xbox while also canceling a known but mostly unannounced survival game from Blizzard.

It’s unlikely we’ll hear more details concerning this new IP anytime soon, but there will be plenty of Call of Duty news from Activision in the meantime.

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