Back in late May, Kotaku’s Jason Schreier, when he dropped the bombshell report that Treyarch will be developing Call of Duty 2020, also mentioned he would be releasing a behind the scenes report on what happened at Treyarch during the development of Call of Duty: Black Ops 4.
Schreier today posted the full article, which is available to read here (which we recommend doing so). We wanted to pull just some of the highlights of what this article mentions and what happened during Call of Duty: Black Ops 4’s development at Treyarch.
Here’s some highlights from the article:
- QA had to work extensive hours on the game, even told not to party during the game’s launch window in order to ensure all aspects were ready for launch. QA testers are being treated as second class in the offices
- The contractors working at Treyarch have had to work extensive hours for limited pay and did not receive a share of the game’s bonus
- Black Ops 4’s campaign mode was canceled in early 2018
- Black Ops 4’s campaign was to be played alongside a friend
- You would pick enemies to battle against and work to take down different enemies as the game progressed
- It was almost like a 2v2 campaign. The team was working to get it to Activision for a milestone demo in late 2017, but the mood changed when Treyarch executives shifted direction to cancel the campaign of the game in early 2018
- Black Ops 4 was originally set to launch in November 2018, but changed the date to October 12 because of Red Dead Redemption 2’s October 26 launch
- There was an extensive crunch period for the developers at Treyarch, working long weeks and hours in order to get the game ready for the October launch
- Kotaku says that QA testers in Treyarch found out that Black Ops is returning in 2020 as the new Call of Duty game for that year after the Kotaku article dropped, and then a few days later got an email from heads of department confirming the news
- Staff at Treyarch received a bonus for Black Ops 4 earlier this year, and many of the higher levels had an extensive bonus to the point that parking lots were filled with Teslas at offices
- Kotaku says that many at Treyarch are just as frustrated with Black Ops 4’s microtransactions and are struggling with Activision’s decisions to force revenue
- Treyarch informed employees late last month that the staff would be taking on a new Black Ops project for 2020 release, after a shift in Activision’s plans resulted in SHG and Raven becoming support studios
Activision issued a non-answer response to Kotaku about the development crunch at Treyarch:
Black Ops 4 represents three years of hard work, creativity, and passion from hundreds of talented individuals across Treyarch, Activision studios and publishing teams, as well as agency partners around the world. It represents the culmination of a wide variety of development initiatives, the best of which comprise the game that our fans are playing today.
The teams who created this game are diverse and widespread. It’s important to us that everyone working on the game, or any of our projects, is treated with respect and that their contributions are appreciated. If there is ever an instance where this standard is not met, we work to remedy it immediately. We constantly strive to provide a rewarding and fun development environment for everyone.
Everyone at Treyarch is extremely proud of Black Ops 4. We love bringing games to life, and we always want to do the best work of our careers. We realize this is only made possible through the varied perspectives and contributions from every individual working on the team.