Call of Duty devs explain why series doesn’t yet have a Halo Forge-style map editor

Brad Norton
Modern Warfare 2 multiplayer gameplay

Call of Duty developers at Infinity Ward have broken silence on the idea of introducing an official map editor for the franchise, explaining in an exclusive interview with Dexerto why it hasn’t become a reality just yet.

As one of the longest-running gaming franchises in the world, with 19 mainline titles spanning the past two decades, we’ve certainly seen no shortage of map designs in Call of Duty over the years. Though even with dozens of options available and new layouts always just around the corner given the swap to a seasonal model, fans have long been asking for a map editor all the same.

The opportunity to dive in and tweak existing elements or craft wholly original battlegrounds from scratch is nothing new to the FPS genre. From Halo’s iconic Forge to mod tools back in CoD’s formative years, we’ve seen some truly great community creations come from these modes. Yet Activision’s FPS juggernaut is yet to formally implement a consumer-friendly toolkit for fans to run wild with.

Despite years of rumors and various leaks from supposed insiders claiming it’s on the way, an official map editing feature has never come to fruition in CoD. But why is that? Well, in speaking with two senior members of Infinity Ward’s multiplayer team – who ironically got their start by using those earlier CoD tools – we gleaned some insight on what’s holding them back from releasing a CoD map editor.

Map creators in other FPS titles like Halo have led to some extraordinarily detailed creations.

Why the CoD series doesn’t have a map editor yet

“It’s something dear to our hearts,” Multiplayer Design Director Geoff Smith said on the subject with a smile, revealing he and fellow colleague Joseph Cecot both largely got hired due to their efforts with earlier CoD tools.

“But it’s tough because the game is… It would take a whole team to constantly keep it up to date and break it off so it stays secure,” he continued. Given the already immense juggling act as devs balance single-player, multiplayer, Warzone, DMZ, co-op, and everything else in between, adding another plate to the mix just hasn’t been feasible for the team. But that’s not to say it’s completely out of the question.

“It’s something we would love to do,” Cecot, Infinity Ward’s Design Director of Multiplayer, chimed in. “It’s just the complexity of our game and the creation of our game, the fact it’s photorealistic, it’s not something we’ve been able to do.

“So we don’t have any info on that, but like Geoff said, we both used mod tools and got hired for using mod tools, so it is really cool to see other spots in the industry putting those things in.”

Black Ops 3 mod tools
Black Ops 3 was the last CoD to feature official mod tools on PC supported by Activision.

So clearly, while the idea of a map editor in CoD is seemingly out of the question for now, it’s not something the dev team is directly opposed to. Rather, quite the opposite.

Perhaps further down the line, as priorities change and community demand fluctuates, the conversation could bubble up again. But for now, a CoD map editor isn’t a top priority given the workload surrounding other existing elements in play.