Last week’s announcement of Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 served as our confirmation of the long rumored absence of a single-player campaign in the next Call of Duty. And so while most of us in the enthusiast press weren’t taken by surprise, it seems that Activision and Treyarch may not be entirely committed to abandoning what has been a series staple.
In an interview with the Daily Star Online, Treyarch senior producer Yale Miller said, "[The single player mode] is only missing at this moment in time." He then continued, "I really think with every game we make, we finish that title and then we ask 'what is it fans are gonna love the most?' If that's another traditional campaign, then we'll make another traditional campaign."
While this might suggest a post-launch addition of a campaign to Black Ops 4, it’s also just as likely that Miller could be referring to the campaign mode simply not being abandoned by the Call of Duty franchise as a whole. Additional remarks by Miller certainly seem to suggest that single-player campaign modes for following installments by sister studios Sledgehammer and Infinity Ward.
"In terms of the future of the franchise, Infinity Ward and Sledgehammer are their own awesome teams," Miller elaborated. "They're doing their own thing. And I have no idea what they're doing! They couldn't, for example, make Blackout... because that's just quintessentially Black Ops, you know?"
Miller’s remarks are a little puzzling, as the announced intention is for Black Ops 4 to last for years – not unlike the ambit of Activisions’ other big shooter, Destiny 2. But it would certainly make sense if a long tail multiplayer battle royale game is Treyarch’s exclusive province while the other studios continue to grind at a more traditional Call of Duty experience with single-player campaigns attached.