Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 dev says he has “little insight into and even less control” over the business side

By Sherif Saed
21 February 2019 12:51 GMT

Treyarch’s David Vonderhaar has responded to some of the criticisms Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 has been getting over the past few days.

Though many in the Call of Duty community were happy with the amount of content coming to Black Ops 4 with Operation Grand Heist, and subsequent free updates during the same season, much of that goodwill turned sour once players discovered the update’s other, not-so-exciting parts.

Unsurprisingly, the addition of loot boxes in a game already full of several other ways for players to pay for content has not been well received. Players also weren’t thrilled with Treyarch’s decision to lock some Blackout characters behind said loot boxes.

Reddit user Lagmademedoit pulled a Game Informer interview where Treyarch studio design director David Vonderhaar specifically said that Blackout characters can only be unlocked by completing their missions. Things obviously started out that way, but over time, the developer added other means for players to get Blackout characters, such as the season pass, and now the Cases.

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In response, Vonderhaar said that the information he provided was true at the time, adding that he didn’t intentionally mislead players.

“Things change along the way … and not all of them are design decisions,” said Vonderhaar, before listing examples of other changes made post-launch that the studio didn’t initially plan for.

“I can tell you what we have done and what we plan on doing, but things change that I can not predict or I didn’t know about. Doubly true with the business side of things which have little insight into and even less control over,” he added, alluding to these issues being a publisher decision rather than Treyarch’s.

Call of Duty players will know that publisher Activision has used this particular tactic in the past. Most recent Call of Duty games get progressively more aggressive ways for players to pay money the older the game gets. Though Cases only include mostly cosmetic content at present, it’s easy to imagine stat-altering weapons being included in the future.

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