Call of Duty developer Treyarch Studios has reportedly made changes to Black Ops 4‘s API (Application Programming Interface) that could put an end to third-party stat-tracking sites.
The API is made up of functions that allow outside applications to access a game’s data, and the relative transparency of this system is necessary for third-party stat-tracking sites to pull said stats for the community’s benefit. As first reported by Call of Duty news site Charlie Intel, the popular stat-tracking site The Tracker Network recently lost connection to this data, with no comment from Treyarch if the connection will be repaired.
Our temporary fix no longer works. COD Stats are not updating again.
— Call of Duty Tracker • COD.TRACKER.GG (@CODTracker) March 7, 2019
The Tracker Network provided Charlie Intel with the following statement:
For years the COD community has continually expressed an interest in having open access to data. We believe giving players the power to improve their game through data benefits the community, and I think the amount of support pouring in is proof that the community agrees. This isn’t new thinking, and we have seen several developers in the past make this a reality. We hope Activision/Treyarch will reach out and support the community, because without their support, we and sites like ours will be forced to shut down.
Stat-tracking platforms such as the one above have proven vital for dedicated Call of Duty players, primarily due to Black Ops 4‘s lack of a global leaderboard. You can compare your standing against your friends list and recent players, but this is a meager alternative, not helped by its general dysfunction. Worse than the game simply not having the leaderboards is that they were originally promised by Treyarch all the way back in October and have still yet to show up, at least in the form in which they were sold.
For those inquiring about leaderboards: we are aiming to take them live next week. Stay tuned for details . . . thank you for your patience! #BlackOps4
— Treyarch Studios (@Treyarch) October 12, 2018
Combat Records, giving players in-depth stats of their general performance, mark another promise Treyarch has failed to keep. Like leaderboards, Combat Records have been in multiple previous Call of Duty games, including all Black Ops installments, and yet, the feature is nowhere to be found in Black Ops 4.
Managing APIs responsibly is important for keeping a game fair, but whether this was done as an exaggerated precaution, or to push its own official Call of Duty companion app, Treyarch did not handle it well. This is only the latest in the line of Treyarch’s missteps, most recent being its implementation of loot boxes that had to have certain features reverted.