Call of Duty developers, Treyarch -- the studio responsible for the Black Ops sub-series -- has apparently been in turmoil quite a bit lately, or at least that's what a new report claims. According to the report, there's numerous issues currently plaguing the studio, but one of the big points of frustration and unhappiness involves publisher Activision's "never-ending quest for increased revenue," which it primarily wants to be realized through microtransaction implementation.
As you will know, at launch, Treyarch's most recent release -- Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 -- wasn't that bad from a microtransactions perspective, but it got worse over time during the post-launch period. For example, who can forget the game selling basic red dot reticles for a dollar? And this type of invasive microtransaction implementation has been an issue for every new release in the series, which fans of shooter have been unhappy about. But, apparently, they aren't alone. The developers aren't happy either.
According to the report, which comes way of Kotaku, developers aren't just unhappy with Activision stuffing in monetization, but how little influence they have over monetization in their own game.
Again, this is just one of the many issues cited by developers in the report. There's also mention of extreme crunching to ship games, a disconnect between the publisher and the developer, and more.
And all of this comes as reports come in that Call of Duty: Black Ops is returning a year ahead of schedule in the form of Call of Duty: Black Ops 5 in 2020, which is, reportedly, coming back a year early after Sledgehammer Games' project was cancelled.0comments
Of course, issues of crunching and publishers forcing different types of monetization onto games is nothing new and it's far from just a Treyarch/Activision problem. It's an industry problem.
Anyway, discontent, especially open discontent, is not a great work environment. And not great work environments tend to result in not so great games. In other words, hopefully this is remedied soon. That said, while I think we may see improvements made to crunch culture, the chances Activison and publishers are going to leave money on the table by pulling back on micortransactions and other post-release forms of monetization are slim.