David Vonderhaar Hints at Tools For Streamers and Discusses Making Black Ops 4 “Fun To Watch”

Calum Patterson

As part of the Black Ops 4 multiplayer live stream on June 7th, studio design director David Vonderhaar discussed briefly Treyarch’s focus on ensuring the game will be “fun to watch”.

Streaming has become an ever more integral part of what makes a successful video game, with the likes of battle royale games Fortnite and PUBG benefiting greatly from the increased exposure.

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Call of Duty also has a well supported esports scene, which Treyarch and Vonderhaar particularly have been very attentive to with previous Black Ops releases.

For Black Ops 4, Vonderhaar made it sound as though the development team are very aware of the demands that esports spectators and stream viewers will have for the game.

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He first hints at supporting “streaming features” for both streamers and viewers, although he doesn’t go into details as to what this exactly entails.

Presumably, Treyarch will be looking at how they can incorporate Twitch, the most popular video game streaming platform, directly with the game.

Vonderhaar then moves to discussing gameplay itself and how the new specialist system should improve the experience for spectators watching the action, possibly with esports in mind.

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“There’s a lot of ways to think about “Fun to Watch”. It’s not just, ‘hey this supports streaming features’, right – that’s a thing. That it is streamer friendly.

And also the game design itself. As a spectator, while you’re watching the game, you understand a bit more what’s happening, because you are watching a particular player play a particular specialist.

That particular specialist has things and does things within the game loop that no other player can do. So that makes it easier to understand when you are watching. And to associate how well you are doing playing that [specialist], with the person who is streaming.”

It sounds as though Treyarch are very focused on making Black Ops 4 as streamer and spectator friendly as possible, for both casual streamers on Twitch and esports.

Along with the release of Black Ops 4, there is also going to be a standalone battle royale mode named ‘Blackout’, but Vonderhaar didn’t touch on how this will also be tailored for streaming.