Activision’s Three-Year Production Cycle Greatly Benefited Black Ops III, Says Treyarch

Last year, Activision announced a new three-year production cycle for its Call of Duty franchise. Under this, Infinity Ward, Sledgehammer Games, and Treyarch would get three years each to develop their respective Call of Duty iterations.

Back then, Activision Publishing CEO Erich Hirshberg called it as giving developers the “freedom to fail.” Hence, emphasizing that the additional three years of time would do well in creating better and innovating installments.

Call of Duty: Black Ops III is the first entry under this cycle. According to developer Treyarch, the extra time has proven beneficial. In fact, the developer went as far as to say that many of the elements included in the game would not have been possible had they been following a two-year window.

“In the two-year development cycles, the kinds of risks we’re taking right now, we wouldn’t be able to do with just two years because it needs so much iteration,” explained Black Ops III multiplayer director Dan Bunting.

Call of Duty: Black Ops III takes the war into the future with cybernetics induced soldiers. The game borrows flavors from both Titanfall and Destiny, allowing players to use jetpacks and run across walls. These gameplay elements made the design of multiplayer maps ever so important.

According to Bunting, the team spent a whole year just working on three maps. “That’s three maps we were working on and each one was constructed in a different way so that we could learn how the different map shapes and the different ways that you pace combat felt differently with the different moving mechanics as they came in.”

Bunting also added that the game’s new Specialists system is another feature that would not have been possible without the extra year of development.

“Before there was the Pick 10 in Black Ops II, we were going down the path of starting to do character archetypes, which we had dabbled in with every single game before that,” Bunting said. “This time, having the three-year cycle was a place and time where we actually had the time to flesh that out.”

Call of Duty: Black Ops III is scheduled to release on November 6 for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.

Source Game Informer