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Game Profile
 Written by John Scalzo  on March 24, 2010

Special: I love the smell of sequels in the morning!

With E3 less than three months away, some of gaming's biggest franchises will soon grow just a bit larger. Not all of these games have been officially announced, some are just rumors. But all of them are definitely in development, so here's everything we know about gaming's great unannounced sequels:

Call of Duty series
Most Recent Game: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
Status: Officially Announced
What We Know: Activision has no less than three Call of Duty games in development right now. Call of Duty 7 is set for release this year and is being worked on by Treyarch (the same team responsible for 2008's World at War) and the rumor mill says it will take place during the Vietnam War. The publisher would go on to reveal that Call of Duty 8 will be released in 2011 and while Infinity Ward typically releases a Call of Duty game in odd-numbered years, no developer was announced for the game.

The third game is an "action-adventure" take on the series (read: third-person shooter) in development at Sledgehammer Games, a brand new internal team at Activision. It is not being called Call of Duty 9 right now, but "Call of Duty: Sledgehammer" doesn't have a release date yet either.

Darksiders 2
Most Recent Game: Darksiders
Status: Confirmed by Company Executives
What We Know: Darksiders was a surprise hit for THQ this January. Equally as surprising was THQ's desire to reveal a sequel is in the works a few weeks ago. Unused concept art from the first game for the other Horsemen designed by game director Joe Madureira has since leaked out, giving gamers an idea about where a sequel might go. Nothing else has been revealed about the game, but Darksiders 2 is currently on track for a 2011 release.

Doom 4
Most Recent Game: Doom 3
Status: Officially Announced
What We Know: Doom 4 was officially announced by id back in 2008... and then promptly dropped off the radar. The company has spent most of their time since then talking about Quake Live and Rage with relatively little to say about Doom 4.

We know it's coming to the PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 (the first simultaneously developed Doom game ever) and that it'll take place on Earth. We know that Graham Joyce, a British writer of science fiction, is contributing to the story. And we know that id CEO Todd Hollenshead considers it "not a sequel, but not a reboot either."

Much as Doom 3 was a "retelling" of the first game, Doom 4's Earthbound setting could it a retelling of Doom II: Hell on Earth, but we probably won't learn more until Rage is closer to release.

Dragon Age 2
Most Recent Game: Dragon Age: Origins/Dragon Age: Origins - Awakening
Status: Confirmed by Company Executives
What We Know: Electronic Arts used their most recent quarterly financial report to crow about the success of Dragon Age: Origins and to reveal that a new game in the series is in development for an early 2011 release. A few weeks later, the Dragon Age: Origins - Awakening expansion shipped to stores and a postcard included in the box seemingly revealed the exact release date: February 1, 2011.

An official announcement has yet to happen, but this type of official communication from EA is more or less proof that Dragon Age 2 will be here before you know it.

Gears of War 3
Most Recent Game: Gears of War 2
Status: Rumored
What We Know: An anonymous tipster recently told Edge that Gears of War 3 is deep in development and that it'll be announced next month. The source further went on to state that GoW3 will get a big, splashy reveal at this year's E3 expo in anticipation of an April 2011.

For their part, Microsoft, Epic and CliffyB have yet to make any kind of real statement about Gears of War 3. When Gears of War 2 sells five million copies, a sequel is inevitable, but right now any talk about the game's release date is a rumor.

God of War IV
Most Recent Game: God of War III
Status: Developer Confirmation
What We Know: Sony and the developers at Santa Monica Studio have consistently spoken about the God of War series as a trilogy. But that's not going to stop them from putting out another game in the series, which may already be in development.

During a media event for God of War III, studio director John Hight was quoted as saying "This is definitely the end of the trilogy, but we're going to continue to do God of War games."

Since then, a war of words has erupted in interviews with the Santa Monica Studio staff with some saying the God of War series will always be based on Greek mythology (and include Kratos) with others saying it's time to move on with a different storyline (and possibly a different main character).

Guitar Hero series
Most Recent Game: Guitar Hero 5/Band Hero/DJ Hero
Status: Confirmed by Company Executives
What We Know: Activision has used their last two financial briefings to confirm that, even with the downturn in music game sales, they still have plenty of Guitar Hero on tap for 2010.

The company has confirmed that sequels to all three of the major "Hero" franchises, Guitar Hero 6, Band Hero 2 and DJ Hero 2, will be released later this year. Details on all three are mostly being kept under wraps, but Gene Simmons recently popped up on British television pronouncing himself as the voice of Guitar Hero 6. Activision executives have also gone on record as saying that Band Hero 2 will only be released as a standalone disc and not in a full band bundle.

Halo 4
Most Recent Game: Halo: Reach will be released this Fall
Status: Confirmed by Job Posting
What We Know: The existence of another Halo game after Halo: Reach is not a prediction, but a certainty. However, what form this game will take is currently one of the best kept secrets in Redmond.

First, Microsoft hooked up Peter Jackson to create an episodic "interactive adventure" known as Halo: Chronicles. They even began hiring developers for the project, including Ryan Payton, formerly of Kojima Productions. Jackson and Microsoft would part ways, but the Halo team, now known as 343 Industries, remained.

Microsoft went on a hiring spree for 343 Industries back in January and once again confirmed the team will be working on a new Halo game. But no other details (even whether or not the game will star the Master Chief) has been revealed.

Hitman 5
Most Recent Game: Hitman: Blood Money
Status: Confirmed by Company Executives
What We Know: Eidos Interactive's president, Ian Livingstone, confirmed the existence of Hitman 5 last year. However, he told gamers to disregard any rumors about the game, one of which stated the game would be exclusive to the Wii, as an official announcement was still a long ways off.

Fast forward a few months and Eidos announced that a second Hitman film had entered production as well as reconfirming that Hitman 5 was still in the works.

With developer IO Interactive bringing out Kane & Lynch 2 this Summer, we may finally hear about Hitman 5 at this year's E3 expo.

Killzone 3
Most Recent Game: Killzone 2
Status: Confirmed by Company Executives
What We Know: On the same day the Gears of War 3 rumors were breaking, 1UP dropped the bombshell that Killzone 3 will be released in April 2011 as well.

The rumor inched a little closer to reality when SCEA president Jack Tretton told GameTrailers TV that Killzone 3 is in development, but he couldn't say when it would be released.

Mario series
Most Recent Game: New Super Mario Bros. Wii
Status: Confirmation by Voice Actor
What We Know: Charles Martinet, the voice of Mario, joined Twitter near the end of 2009 and revealed that a super secret third Mario game was in development that wasn't New Super Mario Bros. Wii or Super Mario Galaxy 2. Is it New Super Mario Bros. Wii 2? Or maybe New Super Mario Bros. 2 on the DS? Or maybe even Mario Kart Wii 2!

It's probably none of those as it's been nearly three years since the last entries in the Paper Mario and Mario Party spinoff serieses were released. So it's probably Paper Mario 4 or Mario Party 9, which I'm sure will make some people happy.

Mortal Kombat 9
Most Recent Game: Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe
Status: Officially Announced + Developer Confirmation
What We Know: The ninth Mortal Kombat game was officially announced by Midway, in what would be one of the last communiques from the company, in January 2009. After that the company was purchased by Warner Bros. Interactive and the official information tap dried up.

Midway head Ed Boon has kept fans abreast of all the blood and guts of the game's development through his Twitter feed. He has assured fans that MK9 will not feature a crossover with the DC Universe and that it will definitely qualify for a Mature rating. He also confirmed that development is progressing well as motion capture work and voice recording took place last year.

Many of the motion capture performers and voice actors for the game have worked on the series before, so it's likely those characters (Sonya, Kitana, Scorpion, Raiden and Kano) will return in MK9. Of course, what's a Mortal Kombat game without Scorpion and Raiden? Several hints in the online resumes of the MK actors also point towards an April announcement and a holiday 2010 release.

Resistance 3
Most Recent Game: Resistance 2
Status: Rumored
What We Know: A "billboard" for Resistance 3 was erected in Louisiana on the set of the film Battle: Los Angeles. The movie will be released in early 2011, so it's possible this billboard is meant to serve as an advertisement for a game that will be on store shelves by then.

The logo for the game showcased on the billboard includes silhouettes of the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building, so it's more than likely that the game will take place in New York. But is it real?

It's not unheard for fake advertisements to be included in movies, but 2010 should be a "Resistance Year" if developer Insomniac follows their standard development cycle, so this is one rumor that is probably true.

Tomb Raider 9
Most Recent Game: Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light will be released this Summer
Status: Confirmed by Company Executives
What We Know: Lara Croft has had a rough journey on her way to becoming video game icon. After her glorious return in Tomb Raider: Legend, the female Indiana Jones fell out of the gaming world's good graces again with Tomb Raider: Underworld. In a response to that, Eidos and developer Crystal Dynamics plans to produce an arcadey Tomb Raider spin-off for the PC, PSN and XBLA titled Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light.

But after that, Eidos president Ian Livingstone revealed that Crystal Dynamics is also hard at work on the official Tomb Raider 9 (in the same interview that he revealed Hitman 5, by the way). According to Livingstone, TR9 "will surprise a lot of people and reinvigorate the franchise. There are some remarkable things we're doing in the next Tomb Raider to make you say, ?Oh Lara, I love you so much!?"

Of course, we've heard that before.

Uncharted 3
Most Recent Game: Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
Status: Confirmation by Voice Actor
What We Know: Nolan North is the busiest voice actor in the business. Nathan Drake's mouthpiece is so busy that he didn't realize he told GamePro he was working on Uncharted 3, a game that doesn't officially exist. As Uncharted 2 won nearly every Game of the Year award under the sun in 2009, a sequel is obviously in the works, but it might not be Uncharted 3.

With North involved, the third Uncharted game must be pretty far along. A PS3 sequel less than a year after Uncharted 2 seems unlikely, so Nathan Drake might search for his next treasure on the PSP.

To Be Continued...
These 15 games have only cracked the surface on the pile of unannounced (or barely announced) sequels that the gaming industry is currently cooking up. We'll be back with a look at over a dozen more titles, all leading up to this June's E3 Expo, where we hope to learn more about all of these sequels to our favorite franchises.

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