Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 is the latest installment in the Call of Duty franchise, and was revealed last month after a series of leaks including basketball players wearing branded caps, and retailers leaking information. Today, a brand new leak from a source close to the series has arisen, mentioning that the upcoming Black Ops 4 will not feature a traditional campaign, leaving it as the first game in the franchise to not do so.
In a statement to Polygon, a spokesperson for Activision stated that they “don’t comment on rumor and speculation” and “look forward to revealing Black Ops 4 on May 17th.” However, the claim about the campaign is backed by multiple sources, with one stating that Treyarch has focused on expanding multiplayer and the infamous Zombies mode, and another saying that “it became evident that development on the single-player campaign wouldn’t be completed.”
Not featuring a “traditional” campaign may mean that Black Ops 4 doesn’t have a linear story, but is a co-op experience – which was another claim mentioned by a source. With the rumors of Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 featuring a battle royale mode, it seems that Treyarch may be going all in on multiplayer and zombies, which has been the main method of implementing microtransactions in games such as Black Ops 3 and WW2.
The lack of a traditional single-player narrative doesn’t come as a surprise; the most popular games of this generation have been either multiplayer only or multiplayer focused. Even Grand Theft Auto has focused on online gaming, keeping the game alive for almost 5 years. There are many reasons why developers choose multiplayer over single-player, but one of the main reasons is that single-player experiences cannot be monetized, and have little replayability. Call of Duty has been gaining millions from microtransactions, even going as far as to add them post-launch with WW2.
While games are doing this, some have been getting backlash for using a system that is similar to pay-to-win. Star Wars: Battlefront 2 was criticized heavily before launch for including supply drops that impacted gameplay instead of being pure cosmetics, and might have possibly suffered as a result. EA recently said it will never make that mistake again but whether Black Ops 4 will stay cautious is yet to be seen. More official information will be revealed at the Black Ops 4 Official Reveal on May 17.
Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 will release October 12 on PS4, Xbox One, and PC.