Back in 2010, CoD studio Treyarch seemed presciently ahead of the curve when it added an in-game Theater mode to the original Black Ops. The ability to record, edit and publish your exploits to the wider community was a revelation at the time, so now, with Twitch and YouTube support a very real part of current-gen gaming, is streaming playing on the minds of the Santa Monica studio as it works on the next instalment, Call of Duty: Black Ops 3?
"I’d be lying if I said that [the emergence of video platforms such as Twitch and YouTube] didn’t factor into Black Ops III’s design," says multiplayer director Dan Bunting in the latest issue of Official Xbox Magazine. "Now, we have to think not just about whether our game is fun to play, but also what it’s like to watch." With Black Ops 3 aiming to break many of its gameplay traditions while overhauling much of its AI, a move towards livestreaming makes sense for the franchise.
Bunting's thoughts echo those recently made by studio head Mark Lamia, who believes it's all about creating a sharing experience that's tailored to the user. "So I think like everything else, on the social front it’ll come down to the content creators," he commented. "And so what our goal is is to give the content creators out there better tools so that it’s democratised and then it’s up to the content makers to make compelling content that attracts their audiences so that’s what we’re focused on; is putting the tools in their hand and then seeing what they do with it and they usually do more with it than we could’ve ever hoped for and imagined so that’s where our focus is; developing better tools, more accessible tools and then getting it in their hands and seeing what they do with it."
The latest issue of Official Xbox Magazine, with Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain on the cover, is out now. Download it here or subscribe to future issues.