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5000 applied to work on COD

Infinity Ward and Sledgehammer ranks swell.

Activision has so far received 5000 applications to work at Call of Duty developers Infinity Ward and Sledgehammer following the sacking of Vince Zampella and Jason West.

The eye-watering figure suggests Activision's high-profile falling out with Zampella and West hasn't put game developers off working under the publishing behemoth.

Three studios are currently working on the Call of Duty franchise: Modern Warfare creators Infinity Ward, Black Ops developer Treyarch, and the newly formed Sledgehammer Games, which is hard at work on a Call of Duty first-person shooter.

"We have and will continue to strengthen our Call of Duty Studios with additional talent and financial resources," chief financial officer Thomas Tippl said during an investor call last night.

"Year-to-date, we have received approximately 5000 applications for positions at our Infinity Ward and Sledgehammer Studios alone. And out of that incredible pool, we've selected approximately 60 extremely talented individuals to join our teams.

"These additions have been important, and we've been very pleased with the game development you've seen from both studios to date."

Tippl said Activision has developed "a number of new initiatives" in relation to COD and a mystery first-person shooter – is he on about Sledgehammer's game?

"In addition to Black Ops, we had developments on a number of new initiatives, each of which are being specifically designed to expand and improve the Call of Duty single player and online experience, including our next first person shooter, which is expected to launch next year," he said.

"By establishing a standalone Call of Duty business unit, we have been able to focus our resources against this large and growing franchise.

"In just a few months, we have already realized significant synergies and benefits which were never before possible, including better communication and greater collaborations among our studios, all of which should benefit the launch of Black Ops and future Call of Duty initiatives, and most importantly, will provide our highly engaged Call of Duty community with an improved and seamless player experience."

So, what do we know about what Sledgehammer's up to?

In June it relaunched its website and revealed it had hired more than 50 people to work on its new COD game.

In January Dead Space creator and Sledgehammer head honcho Glen Schofield said his game will be "quite unique" and "bring something new and exciting to our fans".

But what of Modern Warfare 3?