Activision has been promoting the Call of Duty: Ghosts engine as a ‘new, next generation Call of Duty engine.’ But what exactly does that mean? According to Infinity Ward’s Lead Animator Zach Volker, it is an evolved version of their past engine. Volker said that it is “impossible to develop a new engine from the ground up in a two year cycle.”

“When we’re talking about a new engine we’re talking about upgrading significant systems within in that engine,” Volker explained. “We’re not talking about throwing it all away and saying we’re starting from the ground up.”

When he asked as to what necessitates a new engine, he said:

Or it comes out of a certain particular feature that we want to create that we haven’t been able to in the past. So looking at our current situation, focusing more on the next generation of hardware, we are now going to have the bandwidth to build many more things and our engine just can’t handle as much as we’d like to throw at it right now. And that necessitated the need to go onto a new engine.

Many fans are aware that the Call of Duty engine started off as the Quake engine, and Volker said, “The original engine years ago was built on Quake engine. We’ve done so many new engines and overhauls on top of that I’m not sure any of it still exists.

SOURCE: Official PlayStation Magazine via Polygon

  • BuGz


  • Still not clear, is new or same old stale engine.

    • Adam Nord

      same old engine, just with new improvements. In one of the interviews found here, he actually states that in Ghosts, you may run across somethings that are from the past engines that they felt were not necessary to update.

  • Jerry D’Erasmo

    Typical Activision to lie to everyone in the general public in regards to a “NEW” engine. It’s not a “NEW” engine if they still have the same one with tweaks. That would be called modified or refurbished. If they wanted a new engine and cared about the product and its fans instead of pumping out a game every year, they should take the time away and sit down and develop something great…

    • ed

      would you say “eh, we don’t need a billion dollars this year, lets take an extra year to develop a new engine…” ??? activision is a business with stockholders.

      • Jerry D’Erasmo

        Their net gross as a company in 2012 is 4.6 billion. That’s all I need to say. Their net for 2013 will be just about the same. If I was in charge…of course I’d halt COD for an extra year and make the game better. Because I care about the franchise. Ghosts will be Black Ops 2 with Vonderhaar and Treyarch behind it with IW mechanics

        • lolwut

          You do know that ‘net gross’ is no such thing right? They are completely different things. Google it.

          Also Vonderhaar doesn’t develop.

          Also, COD games run two-games old iterations, because there is a development overlap between games, so they cannot code share that much.

        • ed

          call of duty does the sales it does year in and year out because it releases a game every year… the buzz never ends… you halt that, and put it off an extra year, i’m guessing the sales would slip.

        • MeisseN

          I agree with your “put an extra year between”, but this year EA/DICE is gonna release BF4, I presume that’s why IW has to release their game this year.

    • lolwut

      I guess there’s never been a new version of Windows ever then.

      Hell I bet there’s never been a new version of any existing game engine, ever.

      Even if developers say ‘completely new engine’, if you think they wrote every single line of code from scratch without re-using or re-factoring code from previous versions you are very much mistaken.

      Of course it depends to what degree you take from the old to improve the new.

      Take movement. There’s only one way you can move forward, back, left or right. They have no need to make changes to that part of the engine. New code isn’t going to improve anything in that regard. you either move forward, back, left or right or you don’t.

      There are many things like that within game engines.

  • Hou5eR

    A completely new engine would take away from the magic call of duty has. I think upgrading and adding key improvements to make the series stay fresh while not straying to far from their roots is where development in the franchise needs to stay. As technology advances so will the current engine.

    • AlphaGamingNerd

      except they promised it was a brand new engine they lied again & continue to get away with it

      • Hou5eR

        You have to remember they are building this game on two different generations of machines. You don’t know what the next gen games will have over the others.

        • AlphaGamingNerd

          i know we can expect graphically better than what ghosts is showing ive seen better looking games this gen that what we saw out of ghosts. just being honost i used to be a huge cod fan back when it took real risks then activision fired the true infinity ward & thats when the series died for me

    • Cell

      Couldn’t agree more. What if they make a new engine and make a completely mess? Don’t change a team that is winning.

      • 4Aminute

        not exactly wining not anymore at least , since mw2

        • Cell

          Top selling game, Top played game in Xbox Live…. “not wining since mw2″… okay

          • 4Aminute

            yeah people buy it because their friends play it and you know how kids are they just know COD

          • Cell

            This is another story. “Don’t change a team that is winning.”

          • 4Aminute

            I agree to some extend but will have to see, until then I wont hype myself for the game , I just can’t.
            But I think that they should at least make significant changes to the net code ( I think that’s what its called)

          • Cell

            I agree. I’m looking forward to this new CoD, I think it’s going to have significant changes because of the new hardware.
            Take the case of Xbox360: It was released in 2005 and since that time CoD engine has been getting better each year in an ancient architecture. If in 2013 we will have the first CoD revolutionary (I really hope so), I’m wondering in 7 years how things will be. If dedicated server, shorten host migrations or lag compensation were improved (I mean, THAT MUCH better), we will have a great CoD to be played in the next-gen.

          • AlphaGamingNerd

            don’t kid yourself activision never changes their games look at guitar hero never changed & its dead now cod will be to when the true i.w respawn makes their great game

    • I_HAV2_POOP

      i think the majority of the problem is not the games its the people playing the game…since MW2 campers have got worse with every game and people dont play the objective…i play DOM and every game will have atleast 3-4 players per team with 0 or 1 flag caps now with all these “stats” its turn people into kill whores everyone is obsessed with there K/D instead of winning the game or doing the objective. i think kill/score streaks should only be score by playing the objective and kills only count towards streaks in TDM and FFA! Also if you camp/stay in a 10 foot area you die and have a 10 sec delay before respawn….but i am a objective player what do i know? but i think some will agree…..

    • AlphaGamingNerd

      you sound like a true cod fanboy not hating but all game series need to change to stay fresh or they just die out look at tony hawks,guitar hero never changed & are dead both activision titles by the way & they’re doing the same to cod. where games like infamous,killzone,tomb raider,hitman are taking the series in new directions & are now reeking the rewards

  • Brett M. Haeck

    so basically its the same bullshit they have been doing for 10 years

    • Hou5eR

      basically dice has been doing the same shit since bad company 1 whats your point?

      • PuddingAuxRais1ns

        True. But at least frostbite doesn’t have those dumb camera issues and fps-based fire rate on weapons like the call of duty engine does. Hopefully those issues won’t be present in this game but considering the fact that this “new engine” is still id tech 3 at its core, there’s a good reason to be worried.

      • Batman

        But in that shit we can see a difference, and it looks much better than almost any game out there.

        Don´t defend CoD we all know that its engine sucks. But Im glad to see we are finally moving to a new one

  • Denuno

    This seems like a very unprofessional approach for a AAA title that grosses billions in annual revenue. They have both the technology and the money to make the best engine possible, but they just lack the motivation. Maybe if they have shitty sales for 1 year, they will step their game up and redefine the franchise.

    • Hou5eR

      hundreds of millions maybe and the resources have been put to use. sub-d is new tech. the new shaders, lighting, and other new improvements they have updated. DICE has done the same thing. Being a AAA title has nothing to do with it. Infinity Ward is taking chances this year that are going to impact the series. New mantle system (which is new tech btw). Adding extensive character customization that might lead to micro dlc items (dont like it dont buy it). Slide to prone. What haven’t they done and they haven’t even shown MP yet?

      • MeisseN

        What they haven’t done is they haven’t “build an entirely new engine” for Ghosts. Well then it becomes a target for those superficial asshats.
        People have been crying about the originality of the IW engine, which was built upon the Quake engine. But man, if you look at a Call of Duty game since MW2, do you see ANY resemblance? No! I even doubt if there’s any old Quake stuff left in the IW engine.
        I would believe, that they never started making an engine from scratch, yet they also aren’t using the 10 year old engine now.

  • Hou5eR

    Let’s also put this in perspective – Frostbite 3 is basically an upgraded Frostbite 2 engine with new assets. Shaders, lighting, whatever they wanted to improve on. Companies wont just throw out assets and create a whole brand new engine. It simply is not cost effective. Take a look at EA Sports Ignite engine. They said they borrowed assets from Frostbite 3 and added improvements based on the games they are making. Thats not a new engine at all. The fact is the games look 10x better year in and year out. No sense in getting all worked up about it. They get paid to do this for a living.

    • joeschmoe

      you, good sir, make sense. Keep it up

      • Hou5eR

        its common sense. i dont get how people think developing these things are easy. we get the end product. no one knows what goes into it.

        • MeisseN

          The more common the sense, the easier it might be ignored, I suppose…
          I’ve seen people, not one, but quite a lot, arguing that Frostbite 3 is entirely new. Well will DICE be so dumb to create a milestone like Frostbite 2 only to throw that all away 2 years later and craft another one from scratch?
          Simple yet overlooked.
          You made very good points, sir.

    • Batman

      The COD engine has been the same shit since COD 1. Black ops 2 engine looks better. And Ghosts engine looks awesome

      • Farmakos

        Black ops 2 engine is basically the mw2 engine allthough with minor tweaks

        • MeisseN

          Wrong. MW2 runs on IW4.0, whereas WaW, BO1 and BO2 run on IW3.0.

      • Idiots

        No! The original engine that has been changed quite a bit was first used in cod4, get your facts right!

  • lMattW

    Something for our hosts here at CharlieIntel to find out would be whether the Activision engine being developed right now that was recently demoed (the one with those faces) is a brand new build-from-the-ground-up engine, or if it’s modified from something else. And what games it will be used for (specifically if CoD is in it’s future).

    • Hou5eR

      that would be ideal.

  • Batman

    What matters is that the engine looks incredibly better than MW3. And I want true bullets instead of hitscans

    • MeisseN

      To achieve that they will need an entirely new engine I suppose. Anyways true bullets with ballistics might change everything CoD has been, in terms of shooting.

  • MrG

    I’m tired of the bull shit I’m moving on to battlefield way better graphics and you can destroy shit

  • PeLLi

    Just lie to the customers, same old bullshit… well looks like I’ll be saving a hundred bucks this summer!

    • MeisseN

      Same old bullshit?…
      Do you mean this looks the same as MW3 or BO2?
      Well it clearly doesn’t.

      • PeLLi

        No I actually think this engine looks quite good compared to BO2 and MW3 (albeit current-gen). I meant that they completely lie to their customers all the time… they promise so much but give little in return. I feel that the customers need to fight back against these corporations like EA and Activision so they realise that their games are sub-par.

        Plus if it is the same engine it’s going to have the exact same problems it’s always had, which annoys me because I was a big fan of CoD up until MW3 when I finally bought BF3 and got addicted to it (mainly because I love vehicular warfare and destructible environments, not really for the pace of the game which admittedly is a lot better on CoD).

        • MeisseN

          Eh… fight back, but they won’t listen..

  • MegaMan3k

    God, people, not starting from scratch means NOTHING. UE4.0 is a modified engine of UE3.0 is a modified engine of UE2.0 is a modified engine of UE1.0. Frostbite 3.0 is a modified engine of Frostbite 2.0 is a modified engine of Frostbite 1.5 is a modified engine of Frostbite 1.0. Bethesda’s Creation engine was modified from GameBryo engine – although they claim “nothing from GameBryo remains,” much like what IW is claiming here.

    How out of touch with reality can you people be.

  • Ghostsbusted

    @hou5er a completely new engine might add a new improved feel to the game. but how will you ever know if you stick with 1999 hardware each year, this is your opinion as mine, but when a company claims that it is a new engine, when in fact it is an upgraded/refurbished engine some people may find that this is false advertising and look at it from the angle that the game brings with it nothing new to the table. And that they were mislead into buying the product on a false promise.

  • MeisseN

    We get better graphics, as can be seen even from that heavily compressed 720P trailer, and although Ghosts graphics aren’t as good as Battlefield 4’s, it’s still a lot better than MW3 or BO2 engine. And yep, runs @ full 60 FPS on all consoles.

    But when a CoD game comes out, people tend to care less about graphics, but more on gaming experience, so the major concern for Infinity Ward should be creating a better MP, with better balance, better map design, dedi servers, better connection, better everything we’ve been talking about over the years.

  • Kurama The Nine-Tailed Fox

    Why don’t they at least start working on a perfect new engine built from the ground up but does not have to be released anytime soon but can be released for COD in lets saay 5 years from now? That way we know a perfect superior engine is coming, they don’t have to make it over two years but can gradually build on it alone year after year?

    • Roxas3510

      That would be a smart move but then they wouldn’t be getting millions from CoD sales every year, which you already know is NOT an option for them. They don’t care that we want a new engine, they know people are going to buy the game every year regardless so why even bother trying to make it any better?

  • Gustavo

    Translating: Same shit connection that we are used to in all those years.

    • MeisseN

      please sir do make sense

  • s.m.

    Well what ever the engine they used for MW2 they need to go back to…it played the best imo

  • Ascending Legend

    Seeing as though everyone is giving their opinion i may as well give mine…


    Pure poetry =)

  • f

    I’ve been thinking of some new movement features for Call Of Duty: GHOSTS

    What about the ability to throw a flash bang into a building, without having to walk into the room first, then having to back out before your flash bang goes off. Having to enter the room will increase your chances of getting shot before you’re even ready to enter the building.

    And how about the ability to back up against a wall or something, something new with the crawling movement, and the ability to squeeze through tight areas such as large, steel gates.

    And what if you were able to choose your own melee attack movement feature along with the new charater costomisation feature. For example, you could hit them with the back of your weapon, you could use the standard knife, or you could use your knife in a slightly different way. Or even punch your enemy, use your hands… something cool like that.

  • I hope they’ve added 3D smoke, liquids and stuffs, cause the 2D shit is old as my grandma’s underwear.

  • Turns out the future is black

  • codplayer4life

    they have had a very long time to work on a new engine, they are just spending as little money as possible to make the game so their profits stay amazing. I mean come on have you not played the last to cod series they sucked major ass. black ops 2 is still the most unplayable game i have ever purchased no other cod was this bad for me not even mw3 and that game was a nightmare too. I have no faith in these guys because they are what they make they are ghost. they are not the real infinity ward. So they dont care as much as the original creators. its not like halo where a new group can step in and do a great job almost if not better than bungie. C.O.D. is the only shooter i like for multiplier and its a shame ive had to drop back to ops 1 and mw2 since the last two games were such a pain in the ass. this is the first time i warned all my friends who didnt get the game on day one not to buy it at all. and its sad because i love playing with people i know but not when its frustrating as hell due to the lack of quality control. This article just proves they dont care and the responses by some of you make it clear why they can reproduce crap over and over. I’m sorry but the fear of mucking up the game by changing the engine is a weak ass cop out for not wanting to do better. Who the hell wakes up and says i think i stay at the same exact point in my life for the rest of my life and not try to new things because im afraid to fail.???? Cowards and people who just lack no ball sin general. give me some real game devs willing to put their names on the face of a product and stand by it even if it fails and take the criticism for not executing any day over these losers who swear their game is just fine and only needs minor tweaks every year. Sounds a lot like madden to me. two huge game franchises that will be done in a few years once someone makes a new standard for a great multiplier game