Treyarch: Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 live streaming works on console, doesn't impact game

COD has a "pretty healthy and vibrant" eSports community, insists design director.

Call of Duty: Black Ops 2's eye-catching live streaming function works on console, Treyarch has said.

Treyarch demoed the feature to press at a special event last Monday with a number of iPads running a live game in-browser.

Some had thought COD live streaming would be PC only, but in a follow-up interview game design director David Vonderhaar told Eurogamer the feature is for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. Indeed, the iPad demo a stream of a game being played on Xbox 360.

"We demoed it for you on an Xbox 360 and it works on a PS3 as well," he said, before confirming that live streaming is restricted to League Play, the new feature that arranges players into competitive matches online based on skill level and divisions (more on Black Ops 2's new multiplayer features here).

There have also been questions around the impact live streaming will have on game performance. But Vonderhaar said performance issues, if there are any, will be the result of player bandwidth and not the game itself.

"It doesn't have a lot of negative at all right now," he said. "This is why it has to be in League Play, because the League Play networking is set up for it.

"Look, you can't catch me saying never, because there's one thing I don't have in our control, and that's your bandwidth. If I said to you, no, it's never going to have any performance implications and then you don't have enough bandwidth to actually upstream, that wouldn't be a fair thing to say.

"But it's not having any game impact. That's a really important part, and that's measurable, and we know that.

"For an average gamer, he doesn't necessarily understand and know the difference between when the game is performing well because of the game or because of something on the networking side. It's a rough thing to square up for people. So I say, we live stream all the time. We're testing and we're evaluating the performance on the game all the time. It's not having a negative impact on the game. But we also have lots of bandwidth."

Black Ops 2's suite of new multiplayer features sets the game up to make an assault on the growing eSports scene. As well as live streaming (word at Gamescom was that Activision is set to announce a deal with Twitch.tv) there's League Play and what's called CODcasting - an interface that allows shoutcasters to create a better "show".

"I want to make something for everybody and for the masses. That's what I'm interested in," Vonderhaar said.

"Call of Duty actually has a pretty healthy and vibrant eSports community. The MLG [Major League Gaming] and the EGL [European Gaming League] are two pretty big leagues. We were told very specifically by MLG that Call of Duty is the most played game on Game Battles, which is their own thing. So we know there's a vibrant community here.

"But I also know that as an express percentage of the population of Call of Duty players, it's pretty small. So imagine we already have something that's pretty big, and then give it to everyone else and bring everybody along with it.

"I want everyone to see what we saw when we saw Call of Duty played at the national level and the competition level. We took a bunch of guys from Treyarch down to one of these events, main stage, big monitor, guys on stage, crowd, really amazing stuff.

"Now if you're an eSports guys you know all about this already. If you're a League of Legends guy or a StarCraft guy and you're into that you know about this stuff. But there are so many people who don't know. And it was an epic moment that everyone needs to know about. That's what I want to do and what Treyarch wants to do with this feature."

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