‘COD: Black Ops 3’ Adds Mod And Mapping Tools To PC, Coming Next Year

Call of Duty players on the PC platform have typically felt as if they received the short-end of the stick compared to the attention paid to PlayStation and Xbox consoles. PC gamers may have something to look forward to with Black Ops 3, however. Treyarch announced modding and mapping tools were coming to the shooter. There will be a bit of a wait, though.

Treyarch Director of Development Cesar Stastny announced modding and mapping tools for Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 via a post on the developer’s community forums. This is not a post-Halloween trick, as Stastny provided the following details below with the clarification that “yes, this is real.”

“Over the years, the Call of Duty community has proven itself to be among the most passionate in the world – and we count ourselves fortunate to make games for you.

We’ve been listening to one of your top requests and are excited to announce that modding and mapping are coming to Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 PC!

We’ve still got a lot of work left to do, but here’s our current plan:

  • You will be able to create Maps & Game Modes and more!
  • We will include Unranked Dedicated Server Files with the tools so you can run servers with modded content anywhere you choose.
  • We will provide an Unranked Server Browser so you can easily find and join servers with modded content.
  • Closed Alpha target date: March 2016

Please remember that this is software development, so things don’t always work out exactly as planned. Sometimes features slip or drop off altogether, sometimes they get replaced with other, more awesome features as we hit into limitations of our original plans.”

This is a huge announcement for PC gamers and gives them something to look forward to with Black Ops 3. Dedicated servers for the PC version of the shooter were announced earlier this year by Stastny via Twitter. The ability to mod the game and create maps has a potentially huge impact, one that the community reacted to overwhelmingly positively on Reddit and Steam. It’s even given pre-orders for the game a boost, as Black Ops 3 jumped to number four on Steam’s Top Seller List for a while following the announcement before settling at number five at the time of this article. The $100 Digital Deluxe version is number seven.

Details on what players will be able to mod and map will be provided by Treyarch over the coming months. For now, it is safe to assume multiplayer maps, weapons, and gear are on the table. The question is if the tools will be robust enough to allow budding designers to come up with their own scenarios for the popular Zombies mode along with the ability to create their own zombie enemies, weapons, power-ups, and maps.

Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 Zombies

Zombies may be the one that requires the most work to utilize modding and mapping tools, but the new “Free Run” mode seems designed with the tools in mind. This is the new time trial-like mode that tests players skill in using the new movement abilities in Black Ops 3 to wallrun, jump, boost, and shoot their way through a course. That is a prime candidate for map makers to share their works with others.

There’s still the question of how Treyarch and Activision plan to share the maps and mods created for Black Ops 3. They will more than likely show up in the Steam Workshop but are unlikely to be transferable to the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One as Bethesda is doing with Fallout 4.

There’s also the question about whether there will be any attempts to monetize the Black Ops 3 mods. Paid mods were attempted earlier this year by Valve and Bethesda with The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. They were eventually pulled following a backlash and Valve admitting they didn’t know what they were doing with them.

Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 releases this Friday, November 6, but modding will not be available until later in 2016. There’s plenty of time for fans to wait for details and give feedback to Treyarch.

[Image via Call of Duty]