Developer Treyarch has made the controversial decision to eschew a traditional single-player campaign from Call of Duty: Black Ops 4.
As previously reported, the upcoming testosterone-fuelled shooter will instead feature a battle royale mode known as Blackout.
While there will be ways to play Black Ops 4 solo -- the Zombies mode for example allows you to play alone with AI bots -- there won't be a dedicated story mode to tuck into. This will be the first time in the series' 15-year history that a Call of Duty game won't feature a campaign.
Aside from gunning down the undead on your lonesome, Black Ops 4's multiplayer component will offer narrative-driven Solo missions, described by Treyarch boss Mark Lamia as 'skill-based' offerings where players can improve their might in battle.
'It’ll be a narrative fiction — there’s a story here, but it’s being told inside of the multiplayer universe,' explained Lamia. This apparently 'goes way deeper' than Black Ops 3, which 'gave you some backstory on the individual specialists.'
So, why not include a traditional campaign in Black Ops 4?
According to Treyarch's Dan Bunting, the idea of featuring a single-player story mode was simply 'not part of our plan.' Instead, the developer's goal was to provide something that was very much focused on the idea of playing with others across the board.
He also observed that the dynamics have shifted in terms of how consumers are spending their time in Call of Duty games.
'When I first started on multiplayer in the Call of Duty franchise, 10 percent of our population was playing competitive multiplayer,' Bunting told Polygon. 'Fast forward to 2015 or 2016, you’re looking at 90 percent of our players are playing multiplayer ... If you look at it through that lens, and trying to deliver more for your players and how you’re playing the game, it’s a pretty easy decision. I realize it’s also a challenging decision for other reasons. But we’ve never been ones to shy away from a challenge.'
Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 hits PlayStation 4, PC, and Xbox One on October 12.