Why Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 Doesn't Have a Campaign Mode

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Why Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 Doesn't Have a Campaign Mode
  • Black Ops 4 is out October 12
  • Treyarch has a 'culture of adaptation'
  • Traditional campaign was never in the works

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 developer Treyarch has further explained its decision to not have a campaign mode in the upcoming title, putting it down to a “culture of adaptation” within the studio and part of an evolving development process.

"Internally, we have built a culture of adaptation. The most important aspect of game development is being able to adapt,” Treyarch co-head Dan Bunting told Game Informer. “If you can’t look at something that you’re doing honestly and say, ‘This thing isn’t good enough’ or ‘This isn’t what we want,’ and ‘We need to make a change.’ If you can’t do that yourself, then you’re not adapting. You’re not going to evolve in a way that’s going to constantly deliver exciting experiences for your fans.”

Asked what happened to the Black Ops 4 campaign, he said: "We try a lot of different ideas and a lot of different things. The game that we are making has evolved over time, and that's just a part of development. I can't remember a single game that we've made that hasn't had a dramatic change in the prototyping stage. That's what prototyping is for. You prototype ideas; some of them work out great, some of them don't work out great and you pivot.”

Treyarch co-head David Vonderhaar reiterated that Black Ops 4 “never had a campaign in the traditional sense” during development, with the developer aiming for an “entirely social experience” initially. It’s something Treyarch tried with Black Ops 3 in 2015 but the response from the community convinced it that it didn’t work.

Instead, Black Ops 4 is going big on Blackout, the battle royale mode inspired by the likes of Fortnite and PUBG. Early impressions have been favourable; we called it “the most satisfying Call of Duty in years”.

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 is out October 12 on PC, PS4 and Xbox One.

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