Gaming enthusiasts (otherwise known as jaded hardcore gamers) often criticize the Call of Duty series for annual releases that don’t feature many improvements or the sort of changes that you’d expect from a new entry of a franchise. So it’s interesting to hear Treyarch’s Dave Anthony speak about just the opposite in an interview with Destructoid.
Dave Anthony contends that Treyarch could have made a rather plain sequel, but instead “innovated on a number of features that change the Call of Duty formula.” As the Head of Story at Treyarch, Anthony went onto talk about the admiration he has for the development team:
[I’m really] proud of the team. Sometimes people might get success, get a little bit complacent, and there’s none of that at Treyarch. It’s never good enough — it’s always what can we do better — no matter what we’re working on.
Dave Anthony also spoke about Treyarch’s insatiable ambition to outdo themselves after the original Black Ops:
They could have sat down after Black Ops and been like, ‘Well, you know, we’ll just — as the popular term is — reskin it and do another one.’ That’s the last thing on their minds. They would have been disgusted with themselves for doing that. The thing that I’m so proud about Treyarch is the more success they have, the more hungry they are to make things different, to change things up.
Anthony states that this drive to innovate on previous entries is a fundamental cornerstone of Treyarch that have served them well through their entire history in developing Call of Duty:
At the beginning of each new project the mantra is always, since the very first Call of Duty game we worked on – Call of Duty 2 : Big Red One – the game we work on has to be better than the last one we did. Has to be, otherwise we failed. And ever since Big Red One it has been. I think Black Ops II is no different. I think it’s better than Black Ops 1. And I think whatever we work on next will be better than Black Ops II.
What are your thoughts on this? Is Call of Duty more progressive than many give it credit for? Or is Anthony’s personal ties to Treyarch clouding his judgment?