During his presentation at D.I.C.E. today, Treyarch boss Mark Lamia told the crowd Call of Duty: World at War’s zombie content was almost cancelled.
Lamia said the team started working on the mode in secret when it was feeling “creatively restless” and due the fun the studio was having with it, he decided not to cancel it. Instead, he relented and convinced Activision to allow it into the game, even if only as an unlockable Easter Egg.
“As a studio head I was ultimately responsible for delivering to our publishing and our business partners. The classic management, the right thing, the reasonable thing to do would have to just insist that the team stop getting distracted, focus of delivering what we were already signed up for and what we were already behind on delivering,” he said.
“Some people in the franchise leadership were totally opposed to zombies and a zombies mode, and they thought it would be a disgrace to the franchise.
“And there were some inside the leadership of the studio felt that I needed to make that decision right then or totally jeopardize the development. I almost did, in what would have certainly been one of the biggest mistakes of my career.”
Lamia said once players found the zombie mode, it was like “lightning in a bottle.”
“We made the right choice to follow the fun, follow the passion and bet on a dedicated team,” he said. “We made the right choice to follow the fun, follow the passion and bet on a dedicated team.”