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Call of Duty: Ghosts due out November 5

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Call of Duty: Ghosts (Credit: Activision)

The next installment in Activision’s blockbuster Call of Duty franchise is on its way, though you might not see it coming.

On Wednesday, the company announced Call of Duty: Ghosts, the tenth official game in the billion-dollar shooter series. Set for release on November 5, the game will be available for the Xbox 360, PS3 and PC as well as next-generation systems.

Ghosts is being developed by Infinity Ward, the team behind the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare series (Treyarch Studios handles the Black Ops games). Infinity Ward’s last Call of Duty game, Modern Warfare 3, was released in 2011.

But don’t expect this to be Modern Warfare 4.

“Everyone was expecting us to make Modern Warfare 4, which would have been the safe thing to do. But we're not resting on our laurels,” said Infinity Wars executive producer Mark Rubin in a statement. “We saw the console transition as the perfect opportunity to start a new chapter for Call of Duty. So we're building a new sub-brand, a new engine, and a lot of new ideas and experiences for our players. We can't wait to share them with our community."

According to Activision, Ghosts will feature a new story, setting and cast of characters, but further details are scant. Instead, Activision is planning on revealing the “first-look” at the game during Microsoft’s big next-gen Xbox reveal event on May 21. Ah, partnerships.

Call of Duty devotees will undoubtedly be interested in what the new game has to offer, particularly because this marks the first time Infinity Ward will handle the franchise since the high-profile departure of studio co-founders Jason West and Vince Zampella. After an ugly split with Activision, the two moved on to form a new company, Respawn Entertainment, rumored to be working on an online shooter exclusive to Microsoft’s machine(s).

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Enigmatic key art from Call of Duty: Ghosts (Credit: Activision)

Not that it should matter, because regardless of who’s at the helm, Call of Duty games sell big. The franchise has broken entertainment industry sales records for four years running, with last year’s Black Ops 2 hitting the $1 billion mark in a staggering 15 days. Despite some industry pundits suggesting that the series is on the decline, the game continues to hold a spot in the monthly top 10 and appears poised to surpass the sales of the original Black Ops to become the top-grossing Call of Duty game ever.

Whether or not Ghosts will enjoy the same kind of success is anyone's guess, but we wouldn’t bet against it.

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