Apparently playing off of the end of the latest Black Ops 2 trailer, an undisclosed industry “source” has claimed that Black Ops 2 will have a live streaming feature. The source claims that his information comes from an associate producer friend working at Activision. “Black Ops 2 will now have a live streaming feature built right in,” the source told the Official Xbox Magazine. “You can automatically stream gameplay over the internet easily. You would require a camera though for the feature that shows your face. This may or may not work with Kinect.”
In other words, this would open up Black Ops 2 multiplayer gaming to live spectating. If you don’t already know this, live competitive video gaming is actually becoming something of a sport via companies like Major League Gaming (MLG). MLG and similar organizations allow aspiring gamers to compete and socialize online and at live events. Hundreds of thousands of matches on games like Starcraft, Soul Calibur, and Mortal Kombat allow gamers to meet and to climb up the rankings ladders and ultimately to compete for money (more than $160,000 in prize money was awarded during MLG’s Championship event this past year).
The implication is that perhaps that this will help to integrate Black Ops 2 into this new community competitive gaming trend by reducing or removing the need for offline venues. Treyarch game design director David Vonderhaar has actually spoken about this topic in the past. “E-Sports is really fascinating. That’s something we’ve been paying a lot of attention to. Black Ops 1 was on the MLG pro circuit for PS3, but we frankly didn’t know much about it, to be honest. We didn’t know what pro gaming was like until Black Ops made it onto the circuit and it really opened our eyes to this diverse community.” Indeed, Vonderhaar even stated that E-Sports would have an impact that “you’ll see reflected in the game design.” The last little bit of the multiplayer trailer for Black Ops 2 where you hear the sportscaster commenting on the gameplay could be our first hint of that development.