Activision was nine months into development of a third-person Call of Duty game before it decided to cancel the project.

Detailed by The Verge, the publisher was working on the spinoff in 2007 - dubbed Call of Duty: Devil's Brigade - as Infinity Ward was preparing Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare.

The studio had prepared a 15-minute demo of the game, which was reported to be a squad-based shooter set in Italy. It was going to be strategic and slow-paced, and feature squad commands.

Activision cancelled the project as a result of the Vivendi merger in 2007.

While reception to the demo was supposedly positive, the project was cancelled. What happened? "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," said the game's lead designer Kyle Brink - who now works at SEGA.

"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."

"Was this also a way to keep [Infinity Ward] happy after they had just produced Modern Warfare and made a hojillion dollars? Perhaps, but nobody ever put it to us that way."

The studio, which included Far Cry 3 creative director Jason VandenBerghe, has since moved on to other projects.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 co-developer Sledgehammer Games was also working on a third-person Call of Duty spinoff, before abandoning the project to work on Modern Warfare 3.