COD Zombies Standalone Live-Service Game Was In Works 10 Years Ago

Later Canceled After Treyarch Requested Rights Back!

Story Highlights
  • A standalone live-service Call of Duty Zombies project was being developed over a decade ago.
  • Raven Software worked on the game between the release of Modern Warfare 3 and Black Ops 2, but it was later scrapped.
  • Activision uses a live service approach for its Call of Duty games today.

A Call of Duty game is not complete without the Zombies game mode. The latest entry, Modern Warfare 3, shipped with its own spin on the game mode, being one of the better parts of the title despite the overall disappointing offering.

However, the best Zombies experience came from the Black Ops series. Call of Duty games like World at War and Black Ops 3 offered arguably the best version of this mode, but it seems Raven Software was looking to create a standalone Call of Duty Zombies game at one point.

Why it matters: While Call of Duty Zombies started as a barebones round-based mode, it expanded over time, leaving a lot of potential for a standalone release.

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According to the LinkedIn profile of a former Raven Software developer, a Call of Duty Zombies project based on a live-service model was in development several years ago. On his profile, Michael Gummlet wrote:

“Lead Designer on an ambitious new Call of Duty: Zombies live service project.”

Gummlet, on his profile, revealed that active development of the live-service project was in progress between the release of Modern Warfare 3 and Black Ops 2. However, it was halted when the developer who owned the rights to Zombies wanted it back.

This was likely Treyarch since this team was the first to introduce the mode in Call of Duty: World at War. Still, Activision has taken a similar approach to this third game mode in recent entries of the IP.

Modern Warfare 3 is no exception, either. New events are being introduced to the game mode, even if they end up leaving fans disappointed. 

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Barring the live service element, the prospect of a standalone Zombies game sounds very promising.

Fans have been asking for something similar for many years. Treyarch’s Zombies Chronicles for Black Ops 3 is the closest thing fans got to a standalone release for this mode, though this was just an expansion containing several maps for Black Ops 3.

Live service games have failed one after another recently, but Call of Duty’s position in the industry would have helped such a project avoid a similar fate. Despite the wasted potential, Treyarch will likely deliver a solid Zombies experience for its next game.

A new Black Ops game set in the Gulf War is reportedly arriving next year, followed by a direct Black Ops 2 sequel. We hope to see a return to form for Zombies in these entries.

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