Call of Duty: Black Ops 4‘s well-reported news that the game will fail to feature a single-player campaign has divided fans, with Treyarch co-studio head Dan Bunting’s recent comments only muddying the waters further.
In an interview with Game Informer, Bunting answered a series of questions regarding Black Ops 4‘s single player, or lack thereof. Bunting began his explanation by ruminating on the chaotic nature of game development, concluding that ultimately Treyarch “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.”
The definition of “fun,” at least this time around, does not feature a campaign mode. David Vonderhaar, another studio head, contextualised Bunting’s comments further, revealing that Black Ops 4 had always been envisioned as a social experience first. Treyarch initially mapped out a rough campaign but, according to Vonderhaar, “[it] wasn’t a campaign as people usually refer to it anyways [… it] was a multiplayer game.”
Despite these comments, Treyarch’s attitude has appeared to sour in regards to its single-player output. As pointed out in the interview, the timing of the battle royale mode plans and the abandonment of single-player occurred almost simultaneously. Fans and journalists alike have speculated that the campaign, due to this timing, was scrapped to prioritise resources for the infinitely more profitable battle royale mode.
Concluding the interview, Bunting stated that Treyarch was “evolving” in order to deliver “constantly deliver exciting experiences [to its] fans.” The studio’s evolution appears to have left single-player in the dust; whether this adaptation proves beneficial or not, time will tell.