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Rumor: SOE devs are the focus of Infinity Ward hiring [Updated]

As we reported back in November, there have been rumors of a Call of Duty MMOFPS floating around for a while now. With nothing more than a rumor to hold on to at that time, we filed that nugget away in the corner of our brains and went on about our business. However, it appears that another rumor about Infinity Ward looking in the direction of MMOs has bubbled up -- this time on Destructoid. Apparently the current word from industry insiders is that they are targeting and hiring away MMO developers from Sony Online Entertainment.

If these rumors are true, the resultant game could be the source of many fanboy head-explosions -- and we're not talking headshots. Hiring SOE's developers gives IW a ready-made team that is very familiar with the nuts and bolts of coding MMOs. Add to it the rabid fanbase tied to the Call of Duty franchise, and mix in the fact that Infinity Ward is owned by Activision Blizzard, and you can see where we're going with this. Could a Call of Duty MMO be the super-secret MMOFPS that Blizzard is involved with? Is this why SOE has started working on PlanetSide 2: to compete with a potential MMOFPS hybrid from Infinity Ward, Blizzard, and their own ex-employees? While it's all rumor right now, and thus anyone's guess, it certainly makes for a potentially tasty batch of kool-aid.

[Edited to add] Alan "Brenlo" Crosby, Executive Producer for EverQuest II contacted us to let us know that the rumor about the Lead Developer for EverQuest II going to Infinity Ward is absolutely false. He suggested that the rumor may have instead started since previous SOE Lead Developers Jon L. Davis and Rick Baker are working at Infinity Ward currently. So while it seems that current SOE people are off the table, it certainly doesn't stop the potential of a CoD MMO -- especially with talented ex-SOE employees already in-house over at Infinity Ward.

[via Joystiq]

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