This might come as a shocker to some since we are in a time when fans expect a new game to be as juiced up as possible and for that, the general perception is that an engine using a new technology is the way to go instead of sticking with an old one.
However, it is not that simple when it comes to Call of Duty Black Ops 3.
The game’s Multiplayer Director, Dan Bunting has revealed that the game does make use of the old engine that Black Ops 2 used. It was originally built around Quake 3 Arena id Tech 3 engine!
But, don’t think that is bad because ever since then the engine has had tons of modifications and revision that have brought it up to the mark for current needs.
People used to talk about game engines as if it was a singular product that the game’s built on. But engines are really collections of tech that have some very basic, fundamental architecture to them. The core architecture of the game is still based on the technologies that it’s been built off of. Most engines in the game industry, for large scale games, have all come from a lineage back to an earlier game engine
So basically what he is trying to say is that there are layers upon layers that can be peeled off and replaced with new ones. Think of the game engine as a combination of multiple products and not just one single item that is taken off the shelf and used.
That is exactly the explanation that Bunting gave for the use of the old engine while developing Call of Duty Black Ops 3; “engines these days, especially for games of this kind of scope, are very varied, so that each component of the game has its own engine in a lot of ways,” he said.
In the end he went on to say that the thing that the customers usually recognize as an engine is actually differnet because “the engine itself, what the people refer to as the engine, is the technology the studio develops along the way.”
So yeah, you could say that Black Ops 3 uses an old engine, but effectively the thing that it is being developed on is new.