"its own thing" within the Call of Duty franchise, and so isn't linked with the likes of Modern Warfare from Infinity Ward.
It's also its "own brand of fiction" as well, says the studio head, where its fiction is rooted in a "historical setting and context" and they "weave" their fiction through it.
One of their big challenges was creating this "sort of plausible future history," where the Cold War never ceased. They were cautious of it not becoming "too sci-fi" with robotics and drones.
On the matter of crossover between Black Ops and Modern Warfare, there is none to be had. "Black Ops is its own thing. It’s inside the Call of Duty franchise, but it’s its own fiction. It’s sort of its own brand of fiction as well; it’s this historical fiction where we root things in a historical setting and context and we weave our fiction through it," said Mark Lamia.
Black Ops 2 steps into the near future. "So we have to create this sort of plausible future history, which was one of the challenges we took on. So we approached it much like we do our past historical stuff, and that is... obviously there are books written on where things are headed and technology," continued the Treyarch boss.
"...but we really worked with some -- we were fortunate to work with some -- experts and one of those experts was Peter Singer, who is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institute, and we approached him because he has written a book about advanced robotics and drones and future warfare, which is really important."
"We wanted to make sure that this is Call of Duty, it can’t be too sci-fi, it’s gotta feel like this is plausible. It’s part of the DNA of Black Ops where we set up these plausible scenarios and then we have our fiction going through it and our story."
"So we started there, but he offered us so much more. He provided us with a lot of context from which to create conflict in this future world and even the flipside of major advances in robotics and technology is that sort of -- on the flipside -- is the dependencies on that and things that might be happening in cyber-warfare in the future."
"Things that used to be the domain of great science-fiction books is no longer, it’s reality; it’s happening; starting to play out in the headlines today, but certainly in the coming decade."
Check out thebetween Mark Lamia and AusGamers, discussing Black Ops 2.