Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 won’t have a campaign, and developer Treyarch says that’s in keeping with its vision for the game. From the earliest stages of development, co-studio head Dan Bunting says “It was a multiplayer game, top to bottom.” Some sort of campaign-like feature was in development, but it sounds like it wasn’t the sort of traditional single-player experience you might’ve expected.
“It wasn’t a campaign as people usually refer to it anyway,” design director David Vonderhaar says. “So when people say ‘what happened to the campaign,’ it’s like it wasn’t ‘campaign’ in the first place. How can you say ‘what happened to’ this thing that it wasn’t?”
In the full interview with Game Informer – which you can see below – Vonderhaar and Bunting point to the prototyping process as the point where ideas ill-suited to the final game get culled early in development. They aren’t specific about what form campaign was taking, but it was a direction that fit with their social-focused vision for the game – and one that didn’t end up working out.
“We can make a really big campaign and we can add co-op to it,” Bunting says, “but at the end of the day it’s still going to be such a narrative-heavy, guided experience for players. The replayability is limited. We wanted to make a game that players would just keep playing for a long time, because that’s something we are passionate about.”
A traditional single-player campaign being cut from Black Ops 4 was one of the earliest rumours we heard ahead of the game’s reveal, suggesting that the mode would not be completed in time for the game’s final release. Instead, Raven Software was brought in to help complete a battle royale mode, which you’ll be able to try for yourself in the Blackout PC beta starting this weekend.
The Black Ops 4 release date hits in October – follow that link for details on everything that actually will be coming to the game.