Treyarch bosses explain decision to drop single-player campaign from Black Ops 4

Dan Bunting: "The most important aspect of game development is being able to adapt"

Studio bosses at Treyarch have shed some light on the decision to forgo a traditional single-player campaign in Call of Duty: Black Ops 4.

Speaking during an interview with Gamespot, David Vonderhaar and Dan Bunting touched on the ways in which Black Ops 4 evolved since prototyping, and how Treyarch has "built a culture of adaption" internally.

Bunting said the decision not include a traditional campaign was more a case of adapting to succeed than it was anything else.

"The most important aspect of game development is being able to adapt," he said.

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."

According Vonderhaar, it wasn't a case of the campaign getting cut, but rather never really having one to begin with.

From the outset, Black Ops 4 was intended as being a social experience, Bunting explained.

"Development is a journey," 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. You find a new idea [and] focus on that. We follow the fun."

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Latest comments (1)

Hugo Trepanier Senior Game Designer, Ludia2 years ago
Might have been better not to call it Black Ops 4 then and everyone would have been fine with it.

Personally, this will be the first COD game I am sure to skip. I used to love those unending multiplayer sessions but family life and obligations have caught up with my spare gaming time. I still enjoy those mindless action-packed single player scenarios but I can no longer devote attention to the multiplayer bits anymore.

Ideally they could consider alternating between MP-only and more typical campaign games.
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