With Call of Duty: Ghosts, the word “new” is apparently not in Infinity Ward’s vocabulary. That’s the impression I gather from Zach Volker, the animation lead, who stated recently that Call of Duty: Ghosts will not be using a new game engine, but will instead be running on an updated version of the IW Engine, the game engine used for Call of Duty games since 2005.
Concerning this decision, Volker made the following statement:
“When we’re talking about a new engine, we’re talking about upgrading significant systems within in that engine – we’re not talking about throwing it all away and saying we’re starting from the ground up.
We say okay, what are the things that are significant, that are encompassing of the engine or its visual quality? Are those being upgraded in a significant way? Alright then, I think that warrants that we’ve got a new engine on our hands.”
Volker also claimed that given Infinity Ward’s time restraints and the effort involved, the process of crafting a new engine for Call of Duty: Ghosts would require “an army of 200 engineers.” To be fair, this could be a condition of being under pressure from Activision, their publisher, to release a functional product on schedule. However, with clear focus on iteration already in mind, the jury is still out on Call of Duty: Ghosts‘ chance of success.