Over the years the development duties for Call of Duty, one of the most popular FPS franchises of all time, have been shared by Infinity Ward and Treyarch. Infinity Ward was considered the heavyweight for a long time, with Treyarch merely filling in the blanks in between Infinity Ward releases. All of that changed however with Call of Duty: Black Ops, which was the most innovative and distinctive Call of Duty game to date when it came out a couple of years ago. Black Ops took the series places it had never gone before (even the moon) and faced us off with surprising enemies like zombies. There was different technology and it was almost like a unique world had been created within the broader COD universe. Now Black Ops 2 should further cement Treyarch’s unique identity within the COD franchise, setting it apart from Infinity Ward.
“When we decided to talk to Activision about the branding of Black Ops, it was very deliberate, like ‘Look, Black Ops is more of a characteristic of the personality of the game,’” explained Treyarch studio boss Mark Lamia. “We love the idea that Black Operations were off the radar and creatively, you had that conceit that these guys could do all kinds of things. It didn’t have to fit into any kind of time period or preconceived notions of what these operations might be like.”
So in a sense, the Black Ops name refers not only to the black operations within the game universe, but also to the way that Treyarch perceives itself within the COD development world. “You’ll see all kinds of gadgets, you saw it in Black Ops, you’ll see it in Black Ops 2, we just went for it with the weapons,” said Lamia. “It was about: ‘This is fun to play.’ We were able to, in our own way, justify it within the fiction of Black Ops. These guys, they always had access to the best of the best. They’d get prototype weapons, they’d modify weapons, they’d do all kinds of stuff perfect for gameplay. That was a really great creative thing to build on.”
Similar, the studio itself has access to cutting-edge technology; the rumor is that this game is being developed for release on the Wii U, Nintendo’s next generation console. From the previews we’ve seen, the game features smooth, detailed graphics and is visually impressive. The world has more depth to it than ever, and you can now experience branching storylines and other innovations which Treyarch has been working hard on all year. Now that the development secrets are coming to light and rumors are being confirmed, it’s clear that Treyarch has found itself a special identity in the Black Ops brand name. Treyarch is Call of Duty’s game development black ops center, developing exciting new innovations and bringing them to life in Black Ops 2.