Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 rumours: no campaign, and a battle royale mode

With a month to go until Activision start blabbing about Call Of Duty: Black Ops 4, the last annual sequel in their mega-blockbuster shooter series, the rumour mill is filling in the space. According to whispers on the wind, Cod Blops 4 won’t have a traditional story campaign, scrapped because it wasn’t going to be ready in time for the October launch, and will instead focus on multiplayer and the cooperative Zombies mode. Other whispers say that the game will have a battle royale mode too. Activision reply that they “don’t comment on rumor and speculation.” Believe as much or as little as you please.

Polygon report that their mysterious sources told them “that as Black Ops 4’s release date approached, it became evident that development on the single-player campaign wouldn’t be completed,” so it was dropped. One source tells them that developers Treyarch are instead focusing on expanding multiplayer and the Zombies wave survival mode. While Zombies can be played solo, if this is true, Cod Blops 4 is basically multiplayer.

Kotaku have since followed up saying their sources have corroborated the report that Cod Blops doesn’t have a story campaign.

If this turns out to be true, heck, I’m surprised it’s taken this long for such a major problem to emerge given the relentless pace of annual sequels and the escalating workloads as the series progresses in technology generations. Not having a campaign would suck, but such is the nature of annual sequels. With delays presumably not an option for Activision, Treyarch would simply need to make it work.

Both Kotaku and Charlie Intel further report they’ve heard whispers that Cod Blops 4 will have a battle royale mode. It was inevitable that a mega-budget FPS would draw from the craze headlined by Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds and Fortnite Battle Royale, and supposedly here we go. I am actually curious to see how this is. Call Of Duty is a zippy game which often has weird perks and abilities, and that might shake out in interesting ways in battle royale.

All this is only rumour, mind. None of it’s official. All of it might be wrong. Or some of it. Or none of it. We’ll start to get some answers on May 17th, when Activision will hold a reveal-o-rama event. The game’s due to launch on October 12th.


  1. Danda says:

    That’s great! I’ve bought every COD for the campaign and now I don’t have to do it anymore!

    (Yes, I am the type of player who played all the campaigns and never touched the multiplayer.)

  2. Hoot says:

    Let the bandwagon jumping commence!

    The last innovative, good CoD game was the original Modern Warfare, and that was a decade ago.
    It still puzzles me why people buy every yearly iteration of what is essentially the same game. I mean fair play to ’em if they enjoy it but I just don’t get it.

    • woodsey says:

      Indeed. I remember jumping off after Modern Warfare having already played at least five Call of Duty games by that point.

      Now people are excited by the news of a Modern Warfare 2 remaster and I’m like… but that’s the new one.

    • BobbyDylan says:

      This. I bought MW2 and had a reasonable time but that was the last one I bought at launch. I picked up MW3 in a steam sale a few years after it came out, and didn’t even finish the campaign. The MP for MW2 got sterile enough that I never bothered with MP in MW3.

    • comic knight says:

      Its not the same people buying each one. There are some of the same people but there is always another generation coming of age which weren’t old enough to play the one before so now they are at age for game 4,5 or whatever else in the series.

  3. dethtoll says:

    Of all the entries they could possibly have picked to not do a campaign, they pick the one from the subseries actually KNOWN for its campaigns.

    I’m hoping this rumor is unfounded.

    • Bull0 says:

      Sounds more like it just wasn’t going to come together in time than that they chose to not do a campaign this time. Either way, shitty. Even the entirely wonky blops 3 story was more interesting than any other recent entry.

    • Godwhacker says:

      The BLOPS campaigns I’ve played – 1 and 2 – were both weird, unpleasant, and incoherent. I stopped playing BLOPS 2 after about three missions because it was utter bollocks.

      Multiplayer in the first one was pretty great though.

  4. ThePeon26 says:

    Im happy CoD WW2 did not become a battle royal shit game. Man devs rely jump in to anything money making I mean if there game a new puzzle game that was super big like battle royal shit soon we would have Battle filed 5 now with puzzles only. It´s just like moba games that shit is popular and now we got more moba games than we need. Stop saturating the market with the same boring type of game over and over we have fart night and that players ufaklnslkn battleground that´s enough no need for more shit.

    • Hoot says:

      I agree with you but I had to comment on something funny you said, that being the bit about companies releasing “the same boring game over and over”.

      Isn’t that CoD, though? Just the same game. Every year. Until the tides stop and the moon doesn’t rise anymore.

      • lancelot says:

        Until the tides stop and the moon doesn’t rise anymore.

        Presumably in the reverse order.

        • Hoot says:

          Alas, I realise my mistake too late. Timed edits are kinda crap.

          • skeletortoise says:

            Or you’ve developed a new gravitational theory in which gravity is more a pushing force than a pulling force. In this new model waves are essentially a visible manifestation of an adorable shoving match between the ocean and moon. I recommend this new theory on the basis of whimsy alone.

          • Hoot says:

            Works for me. Let whimsy rule the day.

  5. Caiman says:

    Hopefully without any kind of campaign, players will finally realise that they’re just buying the same game year after year, come to their senses, and demand more originality from AAA publishers. Or I guess not.

    • Shadow says:

      Hopefully. They should’ve called it quits when the logo’s Roman numerals made sense. Now even that has dropped any pretense of sanity.

      I haven’t played a CoD campaign in years (and MP never interested me), pretty much since my days sailing the high seas among dodgy ports, because it’s just not justifiable to pay any price remotely close to 60 dollars for a 5-hour railroaded chain of vapid story missions. Now the last remnant of appeal CoD had to me has evaporated.

      Already at this stage I can perceive total creative emptiness. Not only are they discarding the campaign, the one remotely original bit of Call of Duty, they’re slapping on the latest fad, battle royale. Textbook cashgrab and brand exploitation attempt. Well played.

  6. Matfink says:

    Good job the little guys keep innovating so the big guys can rip em off!

  7. Jokerme says:

    Oh, cool. After all the crappy things they did in the past it’d be hilarious if this was the mistake that killed Call of Duty. I can see that happening.

  8. lancelot says:

    I’m a bit surprised. In Blops 3, they had voiceovers for two different protagonists in the main campaign, then a complete altered version of the main campaign in Nightmares, then a sort of mini-campaign in Zombies. Giving the impression that once the conveyor system is in place, it can churn out those variations like sausages. Do they just consider single-player to be so much less important now?

  9. nimbulan says:

    And I’m sure it’ll still be $60, even though the singleplayer is the most expensive part of the production. Activision’s greed knows no bounds.

  10. Templar says:

    Corporate Overlord:Is the cash machine ready?
    Souless Developer:No, we couldnt come up with anything.
    Corporate Overlord:We will release this nothing. Add in a multiplayer and zombie mode for it, put in lootboxes and a deluxe edition. Dont forget the art book detailing you not being able to come up with a game. Two years of dlc packages also.
    Souless Developer:Sounds good.
    Corporate Overlord:See you next year.

  11. Ejia says:

    CODs having campaigns was kind of the point, right? Titanfall 2 having one when the first one didn’t may not have mattered in how well it sold, but how will Plunkblops fare when the first three all had a singleplayer component?

  12. Kowie says:

    Yikes they better sell it at a sensible price and release the campaign mode as dlc once its complete, else the fall out is going to be massive.

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