Voyeurism is such a strange phenomenon. In whatever form it takes, humanity is strangely drawn to watching other people perform certain activities. Let’s Plays might not make sense to everyone, but to blindly deny their popularity would be shortsighted. Game studios are doing more to make gaming interesting for those who aren’t necessarily the ones in control, and as usual, Treyarch is ahead of the curve in this regard.
When they made Black Ops II, Treyarch included a bunch of cool new features to make life easier for the eSports community. The goal was not only to make a fun game for players of all types, but to also make it fun to watch, easy to spectate and to give casters and referees a bunch of great tools at their disposal. Now with Black Ops III, they are doing the same kind of innovation, but this time for content creators.
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. Now, we have to think not just about whether our game is fun to play, but also what it’s like to watch.
This closely mirrors comments made by studio head Mark Lamia who brings it back to the social nature of modern gaming:
So I think like everything else, on the social front it’ll come down to the content creators. 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.
Of course, it’s all good for them, too. If they make tools that make life easier for YouTubers and streamers to show off their gameplay experience, more people will watch, enjoy and share the content created. As a result, the game gets more attention, more sales and more longevity. Additionally, the tools that are helpful for content creators in general will be excellent for eSports casters, tapping into that market as well.
It all shows how smart and savvy Treyarch and Activision are in this regard. As a result, we might just see the best-selling Call of Duty game to date, something that would be quite an achievement considering the overall success of the franchise.
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Last Updated: June 8, 2015