Activision also said to be interested in buying itself out of Vivendi's 60 per cent share.
Leaked images imply a near-future setting.
Noah Heller and Mark Cox discuss next-gen support, Elite on PC, and the difficulties of "drinking from the firehose".
FPS titles dominate Microsoft's listings for the most-played games on Xbox LIVE for 2011, with Call of Duty titles occupying the top three slots.
Call of Duty: Black Ops Zombies, adapted from the console hit and built specifically for tablets and smartphones, features the Kino der Toten map and 50 levels of Dead-Ops Arcade.