The big picture: Despite the odds, the Call of Duty franchise remains remarkably popular, having staved off fatigue for far longer than many expected. Innovative features like the aforementioned zombie mode, the trendy new battle royale mode and a continued focus on multiplayer components have no doubt contributed to its staying power.

Treyarch Studios co-head Jason Blundell recently revealed his departure from the studio after 13 years. The retreat seems amicable although a specific reason for his decision wasn’t given.

As PC Gamer recounts, Blundell served as a producer on Call of Duty 3 but is best known for overseeing the franchise’s zombies mode, a gig he inherited after directing two maps for the mode in Call of Duty: Black Ops II. He served as director for the campaign mode and zombies in Black Ops III and led the zombie mode in Black Ops 4 (that game, if you recall, didn’t have a solo campaign).

Blundell assumed the role of studio co-head in late 2016.

On Twitter, Treyarch thanked Blundell for his contributions, adding that they enjoyed the journey together and wished him the best going forward.

Treyarch is said to be working on Black Ops 5 for a late 2020 launch. That wasn’t the original plan but seems to be the way forward after problems at Raven and Sledgehammer. That no doubt makes the timing of Blundell’s departure all the more difficult but such is life at a game studio.

If history is any indicator, Black Ops 5 could arrive at the tail end of the year, just in time for next-gen consoles from Microsoft and Sony.