A new article of inquiry by Jason Schreier of Kotaku has revealed new hot information related to the development of Call of Duty Black Ops 4, the most recent chapter of the Activision sub-series.
According to what we learn from the long article published by Kotaku’s colleagues, Black Ops 4 was developed in a rather toxic work context within the studios of Treyarch, historical authors of the Black Ops saga. Apparently, an increasingly widespread (and unmasked) plague within the videogame industry, the crunch time, has turned out to be a protagonist also in this case.
In fact, we discover that, unlike what might have been believed, the shooter underwent a rather turbulent development, studded with revamping the entire project and the addition at the last moment of the Blackout mode (the Battle Royale). Furthermore, since the game has to rely on continuous support, the programmers have suffered perpetual stress that has lasted from the beginning of the work to the most recent days:
“They told me that the crunch would end when the game was launched. Then I was told after the winter break. Then they told me during the summer season,” statements by an anonymous developer. It also seems that the developers, despite the inhumane hours of work, receive an exaggeratedly lower salary than those of the company’s top executives (the example of the Treyarch CFO is given), and that some employees, while working day and night, they do not qualify for additional bonuses because they are qualified as contractual part-time workers.
It is also reported that the testers who gave their support in the development are ostracized by the rest of the team: they have a separate car park (10 minutes away from the venue), work in overcrowded rooms that are completely separate from the others, and they cannot benefit from the canteen to which other developers have access (they are granted a simple pause and, at times, they vulgarly collect what is left over from the meal of the other employees).
As if that were not enough, we discover a further background: the game originally contained a 2v2 campaign, the plot of which would have directly taken the conclusion of Black Ops 3. Having proved unsatisfactory, the campaign was rejected at the last moment in favor of the mode Blackout. A decision was taken in a hurry to maintain a high level of content and be able to launch the title by 12 October and to anticipate by a few days the launch of Red Dead Redemption 2, which predictably would have swallowed up software sales at that time of year. It is hoped, of course, that all these unpleasant events will not occur even in Infinity Ward during the development of the promising Modern Warfare COD.