Black Ops 4’s battle royale mode Blackout is a strong entry in the exploding genre, but it came at the expense of the traditional Call of Duty campaign. Now, as we ramp up for the new CoD: Modern Warfare, it’s been revealed why there was no campaign: the Black Ops 4 campaign was never planned.
In a report by Kotaku, it’s revealed that there was never a plan for a traditional single-player campaign for Black Ops 4. However, there was a plan for a story-focused mode for the AAA FPS title, it was just another multiplayer addition.
The report states that while the Black Ops 4 campaign was never planned, a 2v2 multiplayer-focused game mode would be the catalyst for the next entry in the Black Ops franchise. In this multiplayer mode, the two teams of players would fight AI opponents in a race to complete objectives.
Despite crunching for months to complete a demo before their Christmas development milestone, complete with full voice acting and art, this mode wouldn’t last for long. After the developer’s Christmas break, Treyarch’s leadership told the team to attempt to morph the 2v2 mode into a traditional single-player campaign.
“The idea was: What if we spruce it up, put more explosions in, set-pieces,” a Treyarch employee told Kotaku. “Then maybe people will get that classic Call of Duty feel from this.” However, with a November release date slated for the title, there wouldn’t be enough time to finish. A last-minute switch to an early October release, to get in front of Red Dead 2, gave them even less time.
“People were saying: How can we do this, create an entirely new campaign that takes everything we’ve put in this other mode that was unsuccessful, and still tells our story,” another employee said. “Everyone realizes at this point: This is absurd. This is impossible.”
As it turns out, Black Ops’ battle royale Blackout saved the title. With the mode only starting development nine months before the game’s release, it’s a studio miracle.
With the reported troubles currently plaguing next year’s COD title, the level of crunch development that’s taking over the AAA franchise is getting ridiculous.