Publisher Activision put no pressure on Treyarch to break the sales records shattered by Call of Duty: Black Ops’ predecessor Modern Warfare 2.
Not that it stopped the game doing just that, of course.
People don’t come by our offices and say ‘Hey, this game sold this many map packs, you better do the same or all bets are off’," design director David Vonderhaar told MCV. "Those aren’t conversations that happen.
The only thing that is in my control is making [recently released LDC] First Strike something people want to buy. It’s not practical for me is to go ‘Oh God, this map pack sold ten bajillion, and I need to do the same’. All I can do is make First Strike awesome. I just try to focus on that and remain distraction-free from any business or social pressure.
"Nothing else is in my control and I have to remain level-headed about that.”
Vonderhaar went on to admit that Infinity Ward’s Modern Warfare 2 was very much the inspiration for Treyarch’s game.
Every developer dreams of making the No.1 selling title in the history of gaming,” he continued.
You want to make the biggest, strongest, highest-rated, most critically acclaimed and best-selling video game on the planet. We looked at Modern Warfare 2 and said ‘What an amazing benchmark, let’s go get it’. It drives a lot of what we do everyday. It is a huge inspiration to us, and for us to even be in that league, that’s fantastic.”