Remember when Activision CEO Eric Hirshberg took to the stage during the Xbox One event and said “We wanted to press the (Call of Duty) franchise forward with a new world and a new engine ”? Well, you might want to scratch out that last part.
In an interview with our friends over at Official PlayStation Magazine , Infinity Ward's Animation Lead, Zach Volker, said the new engine for Call of Duty: Ghosts isn't actually new. It has been upgraded enough from the Quake III Arena engine for the team to call it “new”
“When we're talking about a new engine we're talking about upgrading significant systems within in that engine,” Volker told OPM. “We're not talking about throwing it all away and saying we're starting from the ground up. It comes down to the systems we're augmenting and upgrading, and trying to decide what is the significance of this upgrade.”
Volker went on to say the team at Infinity Ward didn't have time to build a brand new engine from scratch with their short, two-year time frame. The team needed to focus on the game itself and improve the engine where they could.
On one hand, you can't really blame Infinity Ward for not building an entirely new engine. That takes time and resources, and you can only do so much when you have released a game every other year since 2005.
Still, touting your engine as “new” when it's really “new enough” is warping definitions through convoluted semantics and makes us a tad uncomfortable. The only thing that could possibly cheer me up would be a novelty Twitter account for the Call of Duty dog. But who would do that?