David Vonderhaar Exits Activision After Almost Two Decades

David Vonderhaar, a long-serving studio design director behind the Black Ops franchise, will leave Activision and Treyarch. Vonderhaar, a figure within the company considered instrumental in developing the Black Ops sub-series, will be stepping down after 18 years. In that time, Vonderhaar assisting in making eight games. As reported by CharlieIntel, Vonderhaar will be moving onto “an undisclosed project” elsewhere in the video game industry.


In a LinkedIn post, Vonderhaar offered his thanks and praise for the Call of Duty community after almost two decades in the role. “Thank you to the Call of Duty community for your passion and enthusiasm,” Vonderhaar says in his post. “That energy has often fueled our determination as a studio and individuals. I will always be grateful for the opportunity to interact with so many of you directly online and in person. This energy is always a massive part of me.”


Treyarch shared a statement in light of Vonderhaar’s exit from the position. They described Vonderhaar as “legendary” and praised him as a figure “whose discipline, creativity and innovation helped shape our games from COD 2: Big Red One to Black Ops Cold War. His iconic phrases and groundbreaking ideas will be missed. Excited for your next adventure.”


Vonderhaar’s credits include the Black Ops franchise, a high-point of the Call of Duty series. The first title, released in 2010, remains the highest-selling Call of Duty title of all time.  Courtesy of figures gathered by Esports.net, the original Black Ops, as of April 2023, had sold 32 million copies. Vonderhaar has also worked on Call of Duty 2: Big Red OneCall of Duty 3 and World at War. Midway through the Black Ops series, the studio design director assisted in making Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare and recently contributed to the battle-royale title, Warzone

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