Carrying multiplayer profiles from one COD to the next has “come up a lot”

In an interesting conversation about where games are going and changing expectations, Black Ops 3’s design director David Vondahar has talked about the idea of a persistent profile carried from one COD to the next. It’s apparently an idea that’s “come up a lot” but realistically sounds unworkable without some massive unification of design between the three studios working on the franchise and, as studio boss Mark Lamia as stated in the past, the COD studios pretty much all work on their own thing (opens in new tab).

“When it comes to franchise planning there’s always a conversation,” says David, adding, “I can only speak from the perspective of the Treyarch studio because I don’t work at the other studios on the Call Of Duty games. I don’t have [access] into that level of planning. Certainly it’s come up a lot”.

It sounds like the concept of transferring progress between games is more than just an idea that’s been talked about, with David implying it’s been actively looked into at least once (I’ve added the emphasis here): “The truth is that the games are so different, from a progression point of view, from a levelling point of view, that the translation layer between games, when I studied it… Like, ‘okay, if you were an Advanced Warfare guy and you had Prestiged, what can I do for you?’ It’s hard to make the mental map because the game’s levelling systems – while similar – the content’s different.”

Effectively, any attempt to carry progress over “would just be fast tracking somebody” says David. “That would be the only thing you could reasonably do”. While that might sound like a nice idea in theory, it’s not. “If you fast tracked them through the levelling then they’re not going to have the actual growth curve that they need to be successful as a player. Because all that stuff is carefully planned, from level 1 to level 2, all the way to 55: it’s very deliberate how long that takes, what’s involved and what you’re getting at every step of the way. It’s all very deliberately planned. So if you just show up and I fast track you through that, then you might actually have a worse experience playing Black Ops 3 because you didn’t have the experience of learning”.

The idea might have been toed around at least, but as David points out, “the truth is, that’s such a massive conversation, it goes way above my pay grade. I’m just trying to design this one”.

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