Call of Duty: Black Ops III is the first entry in the shooter franchise developed under Activision's new three-year production cycle for the series. In announcing this plan last year, the publisher said it would allow development teams more time to try out ideas and have the freedom to iterate on them to make a better game overall. And that's exactly what's been the case for Black Ops III, developer Treyarch says.
Speaking with Game Informer, Black Ops III multiplayer director Dan Bunting said the game's new Titanfall-like movement abilities might not have made it into the game if Treyarch only had two years on the project.
"In the two-year development cycles, the kinds of risks we're taking right now, we wouldn't be able to do with just two years because it needs so much iteration," Bunting explained. "[We iterated on the first set of multiplayer maps for] a year. That's three maps we were working on and each one was constructed in a different way so that we could learn how the different map shapes and the different ways that you pace combat felt differently with the different moving mechanics as they came in."
Bunting went on to say that Black Ops III's new Specialists system for multiplayer was another feature that Treyarch had time to include thanks to the extra year of development.
"Before there was the Pick 10 in Black Ops II, we were going down the path of starting to do character archetypes, which we had dabbled in with every single game before that," Bunting said. "This time, having the three-year cycle was a place and time where we actually had the time to flesh that out."
Speaking about Call of Duty's new three-year, three-studio schedule back in August 2014, Activision Publishing CEO Erich Hirshberg said the setup gives developers the "freedom to fail."