Interviews// Call of Duty: Black Ops - Josh Olin

Posted 26 Aug 2010 18:15 by
Josh Olin
Josh Olin
Call of Duty: Black Ops is just around the corner. You know, give or take. The game will be a departure from Treyarch's previous Call of Duty games, bringing the developer's entries into the series more up to date than it's previous WWII offerings, if not quite to a time when terrorists can put videos on YouTube.

Over at Gamescom I was thrust into a room with Josh Olin, community manager for Treyarch, to find out what the Cold War means for CoD, where the series might be heading and how Inception ties into it all...


SPOnG: With three 'modern' Call of Duty games out there, a lot of people have their favourite maps. Is there any chance that we'll see any of those existing maps brought forward into Black Ops, perhaps for free, a la Rainbow Six?

Josh Olin: No. Everything in Black Ops is pretty authentic and unique. What we're trying to make is something that's new and fresh, really. For players, we want to provide them with a game that they haven't seen before and is all new experiences and that would kind of spit in the face of that philosophy.


SPOnG: One of the problems a lot of people had with Modern Warfare 2 was that a lot of people were going straight for the kill streaks and not necessarily working too well with teammates. Has anything been done to balance all that?

Josh Olin: Yes, and we'll reveal more of that at our MP event on September 1st. Unfortunately I can't go into great detail here about it, but yeah, there's... We are aware of all those problems and we're refining that experience to make sure that none of the game is frustrating. It's got to be a fun game.


SPOnG: What's your process for addressing something like that? Do you talk to Infinity Ward? Do you go directly to the fans?

Josh Olin: As community manager that's my job, basically, is I go directly to the fans. I'm constantly reading forums, I'm reading Twitter, I've got my finger on the pulse of the community from every possible angle. I play every night, I play all the Call of Duty games. We have that added advantage of having a very long lineage of great Call of Duty games to incorporate the feedback into Black Ops.


SPOnG: Do you guys look much at the other shooters out there? Your Medal of Honors and whatnot?

Josh Olin: Yeah. We look at other shooters outside the franchise, absolutely. Our Number 1 goal is, of course, servicing our players, so we want to make sure the Call of Duty players get what they want. But yes, if there's another shooter out there that's doing something cool or nice that we think that we could do better, then we take a look at that. If there's a big mysterious misstep that another shooter took that we wouldn't want to repeat then we'll avoid that, absolutely.


SPOnG: What plans do you have for customisation?

Josh Olin: Lots and lots of customisation, lots of personalisation. A lot of that lives in 'create a class', we've completely overhauled that system. It's a much bigger feature now. But yeah, there's a lot of other things I can't talk about just yet, but less than two weeks away now and we'll reveal everything.
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