Treyarch's studio head Mark Lamia has dismissed criticisms that Call of Duty needs a new engine to power graphical improvements.
Despite this year's Black Ops 2 running on the same engine engine as 2005's Modern Warfare, Lamia says extensive improvements made to that 'foundation' have resulted in significant advances without the need for an entirely new engine.
"People always ask me, 'Is this a new engine?' I liken it to people who live in an older house that has been remodeled. Just because you're remodeling the house and it will look new or it will have a new kitchen, you don't tear out the foundation, or break out some of the framing," said Lamia.
"Engines, each time they get touched, they change. The creators alter them; they don't modify what they don't need to, and then they alter what they need to. You can't make a competitive product if you're not upgrading that engine along the way.
"I think what people are asking for is for us to push. They want us to make a better-looking game," he went on.
"We asked ourselves that very same question - we wanted to advance the graphics. I think the questions are valid. The answer may not need to be an entirely new engine, but you might need to do an entire overhaul of your entire lighting system.
"The trick is, we're not willing to do that if we can't keep it running at 60 frames per second - but we did that this time. So this is the Black Ops II engine," said Lamia.
Activision has said it's "incredibly pleased" with the record pre-order numbers it's seeing for this year's Call of Duty.