Minkoff made clear that the motivation behind the decision primarily stemmed from what he and others at Activision have said is Modern Warfare‘s «unified narrative experience.» As mentioned in the game’s reveal release, the game’s narrative progression will be coherent across all of its game modes, including singleplayer, multiplayer, and co-op.
Fresh off the heels of the game’s official announcement yesterday, Activision has confirmed that Call of Duty Modern Warfare will not have a zombies mode.
Speaking to PlayStation Lifestyle, via GamesRadar, Campaign Gameplay Director Jacob Minkoff said that the development team decided that zombies didn’t mesh with the game’s more realistic tone. About the decision, Minkoff said:
We’re trying to create an authentic, realistic feeling world. We don’t have the flexibility to do something like put zombies in the game. That would compromise the feeling of playing in a world that feels realistic and authentic and relative to today’s conflicts and things we face.
While we don’t exactly know the nature of this «unified narrative experience,» we do know that Modern Warfare will not have discrete storylines like those found in the Battlefield games, or even the Black Ops subseries. Instead, it will have a continuous narrative throughline with a single set of characters.
Minkoff added that the game’s single-player and co-op storyline is one, complete narrative. While he didn’t specifically state what that would look like or how that would work, he confirmed that the events in each mode are connected.
We’re not ready to talk about cooperative play yet, but what I will tell you is that the single-player storyline goes directly into the co-op storyline. No stop. The events just continue.
So those elements – gameplay, progression, story – they just continue throughout everything that we have on the disc or digital download.
While Modern Warfare certainly isn’t the first game in the overarching franchise to not include zombies – the mode first appeared in 2008’s Call of Duty: World at War – it is the first game since 2012’s Black Ops II to not have the mode or something similar. 2013’s Call of Duty: Ghosts featured Extinction Mode, which was essentially an alien reskin of Zombies Mode.
While Activision has not outright confirmed another mode will or will not replace zombies in Modern Warfare, it’s doubtful considering Activision’s tripling-down on realism in 2019’s release.
Last week we reported, via Kotaku, that CoD 2020 would, in fact, be Call of Duty: Black Ops 5. Though there has been no conjecture about a Zombies Mode in that game, Minkoff did tell PlayStation Lifestyle that the Black Ops series is more suited to such a mode because of its inherent «stylized, graphic novel, super-hero experience.»