A Call of Duty game set in Italy during World War II was cancelled nine months into development in 2008, the gaming arm of The Verge has reported.
Call of Duty: Devil's Brigade was a third-person Call of Duty spin-off led by veteran game developer, Jason VandenBerghe (Far Cry 3, Red Steel 2, James Bond: Agent Under Fire) that began development five months prior to the release of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. The Verge reports that the development team was small compared to the teams that worked on the other games in the series, but things had looked hopeful: the game had a strong development team, financial support from Activision, the blessing of Call of Duty's original developer, Infinity Ward.
Devil's Brigade was to be a squad-based shooter where players would assume the role of American and Canadian soldiers fighting in Italy at the tail end of the war. The project was codenamed Codaa (Call of Duty Action Game).
The project was cancelled in the midst of the merger between Vivendi and Blizzard. The lead designer on Devil's Brigade, Kyle Brink, said: "We were ready for our final green light just as the merger with Vivendi/Blizzard was announced. As is normal in a merger, you do everything you can to clean up your balance sheet. A studio that isn't in full production on a title with major revenue attached to it, which is about to ask for tens of millions in development dollars, is a great candidate for closure at that point."
Activision offered severance packages and support to those who now found themselves without a project to work on. Jason Vandenberghe is now a creative director at Ubisoft and other lead developers from the Devil's Brigade team have moved to other Activision studios and SEGA.