The Verge have reported on a top secret Call of Duty game that was in development five months before the release of the first Modern Warfare. Call of Duty: Devil's Brigade was cancelled nine months in to development, was a third-person affair, and focused on the “superheroes” of WWII who later inspired the formation of the Green Berets and the Canadian Special Operations forces Command.
Activision cancelled the project in 2007. The dev team included Jason VandenBerghe, current creative director on Far Cry 3, along with Scott Bandy and Trevor Jalowitz, who now work for Activision. They called themselves Underground Development.
VandenBerghe quotes Infinity Ward's dominance as one of the reasons for the cancellation: "If the IW guys say they want to control the Call of Duty IP, they don't even have to say our name. We just got sideswiped. And that happens. I don't begrudge them for that."
Lead designer, Kyle Brink says the Vivendi/Blizzard merger was also a factor: “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.”
Here are a bundle of screenshots and a few seconds of footage. Warning: console commands feature below. As do low-res textures and basic geometry.
Can you imagine an alternate reality where Devil's Brigade exists? What's it like?