Call of Duty’s three-year dev cycle gives studios "freedom to fail"

The shift from a two-year to a three-year development cycle for the Call of Duty development cycle gives developers more scope to be creative and possibly make mistakes.

"That extra year of development time, particularly with the new consoles and the more powerful hardware, has really paid off thus far to iterate, innovate and try new things," Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg told Joystiq.

"The thing that the three-year development cycle allows is these games have gotten so ambitious, we’re packing so many different modes of play onto the disc.

To find out which things didn’t work and have the freedom to fail in the creative process, so what goes on the disc is the best ideas. The things that started off as flyers, like zombies or co-op became their own whole games."

Hirshberg also noted that many critics have already made their mind up about the company regardless of the decisions it does or does not take, adding: "Activision has a narrative that doesn’t match the reality, which is quite potent."

The shift to a three-year development cycle was revealed earlier this year, with Sledgehammer, Infinity Ward and Treyarch presumed to have formed the new COD dev trio.

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