When we talk about the people who shaped call of duty since its inception, names like Vince Zampella and Jason West often come to mind. However, there is a third figure whose role was equally crucial in turning the franchise into one of the most successful of all time: david vonderhaar. Sadly, after 18 years working in the popular First Person Shooterhas left Treyarch and Activision.
The surprising news was confirmed by himself through his profiles on social networks.
“Today I share with you that I have left Activision and Treyarch after 18 incredible years and 8 games of call of duty. To my colleagues at Treyarch, I am immensely grateful for the time we have spent working to improve our craft. We never sit on successes and always ask ourselves how to improve what we design and how we produce it.”
Of course, David Vonderhaar also had words of thanks to the vast community of call of duty, who has certainly received this information like a bucket of cold water. Even more so because spirits were high after the exciting presentation of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.
“Thanks to the community of call of duty for their passion and enthusiasm. That energy fuels our determination as a studio and individuals. I will always be grateful for the opportunity to interact with so many of you directly, both online and in person. That energy will always be a part of me.”
David Vonderhaar will say goodbye to call of duty, but not to the video game industry. He announced that he is working on a project of which he cannot yet reveal details. It is unknown if he undertook an independent study with other people, or if he has signed for some other giant company in the sector – which is most likely.
David Vonderhaar’s legacy to call of duty
Without a doubt, David Vonderhaar can be considered as one of the main masterminds behind the franchise. Although she began her journey in Call of Duty 2: Big Red Oneit didn’t take long for him to contribute ideas that have remained valid to this day, especially in multiplayer experiences.
His work had such an influence on the second title that, for call of duty 3, he was promoted to Lead Multiplayer Design. If you are a true fan of First Person Shooter for years, you may remember that this title marked a before and after for the competitive side of the franchise, and laid the foundations for what Infinity Ward would achieve shortly after with the first Modern Warfare.
Subsequently, David Vonderhaar directed the multiplayer of the excellent World at War. However, his greatest contribution would come in his next project. Vonderhaar took over as Treyarch Chief Design Officer when the studio began developing its most recognized work to date: Call of Duty Black Ops.
In subsequent years, David Vonderhaar continued to design multiplayer systems for future installments of the aforementioned saga. In fact, he was a key player in the development of Blackoutthe first battle royale in the history of call of duty —and which was included in Black Ops 4—. The foundations of this modality allowed, later, to create Warzonegame in which he also participated.
It was impossible for Treayarch not to comment on the matter after running out of such an essential figure:
“Farewell to the legendary David Vonderhaar, whose discipline, creativity, and innovation helped shape our games. From Call of Duty 2: Big Red One until Black Ops Cold War. His iconic phrases and innovative ideas will be missed. We are excited for your next adventure. Thank you Vahn.”