Overnight, Polygon reported Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 does not have a single-player campaign. Eurogamer sources have corroborated this story.
Polygon sources said as Black Ops 4's release date approached, "it became evident that development on the single-player campaign wouldn't be completed". Since then, according to Polygon's sources, developer Treyarch has focused on expanding multiplayer and the Zombies mode. There is also an emphasis on cooperative modes as a potential stand-in for the typical single-player campaign experience.
This tallies with information Eurogamer received about the development of Black Ops 4 back in February. Then, our sources indicated Treyarch scrapped the game's campaign in the early part of 2018 to focus on multiplayer.
One source close to the project told us Black Ops 4's campaign was originally called a "career" and featured co-op missions with another player. Video game development is a tricky business, of course, and plans often change, so it's unclear whether these co-op style missions have made the cut as the potential stand-in for the ditched single-player.
Last night, Call of Duty specialist website charlieINTEL, which has reliably leaked information on the series in the past, reported Black Ops 4 has a Battle Royale mode developed by fellow Activision-owned studio Raven Software. Kotaku then backed this up, as well as the Polygon report about a lack of single-player.
One of Eurogamer's sources backed up the report about the inclusion of a Battle Royale mode. Adding context, our source said COD's Battle Royale mode may not hit the magic 100 player mark seen in other Battle Royale games at the time Black Ops 4 comes out, but developers are working towards that number. Again, it's worth pointing out video game development is a tricky business, and plans often change.
It sounds like Treyarch has had quite the time of it developing this year's Call of Duty, with plans for a single-player campaign scrapped earlier in 2018 and the inclusion of a Battle Royale mode. The people there have had to contend with this and an earlier than usual launch window. Black Ops 4 comes out on 12th October, which is ahead of Call of Duty's normal November release slot and ahead of Rockstar's Red Dead Redemption 2, which comes out on 26th October.
But the inclusion of a Battle Royale mode in Call of Duty isn't a huge surprise, given just last month an analyst suggested in a report that Activision plans to bring Battle Royale to Call of Duty at some point, adding Activision is fully aware of the spectacular popularity of PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds and Epic's Fortnite Battle Royale.
Last month, Eurogamer reported on Activision's plan to release Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Remastered this year - and that it doesn't have multiplayer. So, we have a mainline Call of Duty game without a single-player campaign, and a remaster of Modern Warfare 2 without competitive multiplayer. Perhaps Activision will link up the two games in some way? Maybe it'll give the Modern Warfare 2 Remastered campaign free to those who pre-order Black Ops 4, or those who buy a super expensive limited edition.
We'll know more on 17th May, when Activision is set to reveal Black Ops 4 to the world, and then more again at E3 in June.