Possibly partially replaced with a battle royale mode
Treyarch’s line of Call of Duty: Black Ops titles are often praised for their conspiracy theory-fueled stories about military covert operations. If a new report is true, the fourth installment will eschew that strong suit altogether.
Polygon is reporting that it has sources who say Activision has canned Call of Duty: Black Ops 4‘s single-player campaign. Supposedly, the project was behind schedule and it became clear that Treyarch wouldn’t be able to complete the story campaign by the game’s October 12 release date.
To compensate, Activision shifted to focusing on multiplayer and cooperative modes — including the ever-popular Zombies. It’s said that cooperative is somehow the main attraction, as if it’s a replacement of sorts for a traditional campaign. It’s unclear if this substitution means any kind of story will be told.
However, there’s another rumor running adjacent to Polygon’s piece. Call of Duty enthusiast site CharlieIntel says its sources have revealed that Activision has tasked subsidiary Raven Software with developing a battle royale mode. The idea is that an emphasis on additional multiplayer modes will placate consumers who feel that a campaign-less Call of Duty is a lesser product.
Activision hasn’t weighed in on these developing stories. It has simply said “We don’t comment on rumor and speculation. We look forward to revealing Black Ops 4 on May 17.”
If this entirely-plausible-sounding report is true, it strikes as an unfortunate year for it to happen. Black Ops has a sizable following who are interested in the themes of the sub-franchise. Without a story, what exactly makes it Black Ops? Something that’s less established, like Advanced Warfare, seems like a better place to experiment with new release models. But, delaying Call of Duty outside of the holiday season isn’t really an option. So here we are.