Four years since its release, the scrapped campaign for Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 has leaked – courtesy of a story from Eurogamer – and a 43-minute fan-researched breakdown on Youtube. At the time of writing, the video, uploaded by TheClosetIndian, is still live on Youtube and can be viewed in its entirety at the link further below.
For context, Black Ops 4 was famously the first game in the Call of Duty series not to feature a single-player campaign, which according to the video, would have been titled Career. The lost mode has been described as “one of the largest and most ambitious campaign experiences in Call of Duty history.”
Career would have expanded the Black Ops in-game universe created in the first three titles and merged the campaign and multiplayer modes. Career was also intended to become a 2v2 online mode – with built-in accessibility for solo players. Black Ops 4, according to the breakdown, would have been set in 2070, described as “the year of chaos” following the events of Black Ops III.
Set in a world dealing with the fallout of a pandemic and several climate disasters, resources are heavily diminished, and players would be given access to weapons created before the fallout, featuring new weaponry described as “experimental prototypes.”
The campaign – designed as 2v2, would establish a war between factions, the Free People’s Army and the World United Nations. Players would be allowed to pick their sides and compete against the other side. Depending on the faction chosen, a player’s gameplay, mission, story, and characters would be customised to the respective faction.
However, in early 2018, the campaign was cancelled following Treyarch’s announcement. The reasons behind the cancellation were reportedly due to technical problems, negative feedback, and ultimately, a lack of time to finish the game.
The release date for Black Ops 4 was pulled forward a month to October 12, following the announcement of Red Dead Redemption 2’s October release. With much work to be done, there were discussions of downsizing Black Ops 4 to a single-player campaign – but the studio’s lack of resources hindered these plans.
In the end, the decision was made to scrap the campaign and focus attention on the Blackout battle-royale mode – which soared in popularity and piqued the interest of executives. However, reports of a crunch culture on staff would lead anyone to imagine the success of the battle royale is nothing more than bittersweet.