Report: Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 Won't Ship With a Traditional Single-Player Mode [Update: Battle Royale Rumored]

Report: Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 Won't Ship With a Traditional Single-Player Mode [Update: Battle Royale Rumored]

Black Ops 4 will instead focus on multiplayer, zombies, and co-op.

Update 4/17: In another rumor, this time from Call of Duty website CharlieIntel, a tipster is now reporting that Raven Software is working on a battle royale mode for Call of Duty: Black Ops 4. This mode will make up for the lack of single-player content in Black Ops 4 as reported below.

According to a new report Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 won't have a traditional single-player story mode. Sources with knowledge about the project say that instead Black Ops 4 will focus mainly on multiplayer and zombie modes.

The report comes by way of Polygon which spoke with anonymous sources close to the project. If true, this would be the first main Call of Duty game to release without a campaign story mode. In a statement, Activision said, "We don't comment on rumor and speculation. We look forward to revealing Black Ops 4 on May 17."

If true, Black Ops 4 will be rather unconventional.

The sources say that as Black Ops 4's release date approached, development on the single-player campaign couldn't be completed in time. One source close to developer Treyarch said that instead development focused on expanding the game's multiplayer and zombie mode, with an emphasis on co-op modes to potentially take the place for traditional single-player modes.

If true, this will be a risky strategy. Other first-person shooters that didn't ship with single-player modes like the first Titanfall and Star Wars Battlefront were noted as lacking by critics and players for that very reason.

Activision and Treyarch announced Black Ops 4 back in March after basketball player James Harden was seen wearing a Black Ops 4 hat. Treyarch will be in the developer's chair again as per Activision's rotating list of studios working the Call of Duty franchise.

The most recent Call of Duty game was Call of Duty: WW2 which took the series back to its historical roots. The Black Ops series by contrast starts around the Cold War and extends into the future. The tagline for Black Ops 4 is "forget what you know," so I guess we'll have to forget what we know about the Black Ops series so far.

We will learn more about Black Ops 4 during the reveal event on May 17, and presumably at E3 2018. Black Ops 4 is scheduled for release on October 12, 2018 for PS4, Xbox One, and PC. For more, check out our Everything We Know About Black Ops 4 guide for the latest news and info.

Sometimes we include links to online retail stores. If you click on one and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. See our terms & conditions.

Matt Kim

News Editor

Matt Kim is a former freelance writer who's covered video games and digital media. He likes video games as spectacle and is easily distracted by bright lights or clever bits of dialogue. He also once wrote about personal finance, but that's neither here nor there.

Read this next

"It's Hypocritical for Blizzard to Punish Blitzchung but Not Us"

THIS WEEK IN BUSINESS | Activision Blizzard has always been a vigorous advocate for freedom of expression.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare's Overhauled Spec Ops Mode Pulls it More Toward Destiny

Special Ops returns with even bigger Operations to take on.

Fans Are Vowing to Boycott Pokemon Sword and Shield, but Here's How That's Gone in the Past

People aren't shy about airing their opinions on games in development, but are developers listening?

The Developers Who Never Gave Up

THIS WEEK IN BUSINESS | Stories of ongoing or aspiring success from studios big and small that had rough starts on games such as Fallout 76, No Man's Sky, and Anthem.

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 Originally Did Have a Campaign and It Was a Co-Op, PvP Mode

Black Ops 4 didn't ditch the campaign mode because of battle royale, it made battle royale because it ditched the campaign.

COD Blackout Tips - All the Essential Tips for Blackout

Black Ops 4's Blackout is the first battle royale mode in Call of Duty, and we've got a full beginner's guide for you right here.

More News

Nintendo Switch's North American Sales Have Surpassed the Wii U's Global Lifetime Sales

The Switch has solidly outsold its console predecessor.

Obsidian Developer Says Studio Can Focus on Games, Not Pitches, After Microsoft Buyout

Designer Brian Hines says Microsoft wants Obsidian to keep doing what's been working.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare is Distancing Itself From Supply Drops and Loot Boxes

The Modern Warfare devs are ensuring you won't have to buy any weapons or attachments.

Apex Legends' New Shadowfall Mode Has Players Calling Truces and Cooperating in Unusual Ways

Players are crowdsourcing vital map information and unofficially teaming up in-game.

More on PC

Obsidian Developer Says Studio Can Focus on Games, Not Pitches, After Microsoft Buyout

Designer Brian Hines says Microsoft wants Obsidian to keep doing what's been working.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare is Distancing Itself From Supply Drops and Loot Boxes

The Modern Warfare devs are ensuring you won't have to buy any weapons or attachments.

Apex Legends' New Shadowfall Mode Has Players Calling Truces and Cooperating in Unusual Ways

Players are crowdsourcing vital map information and unofficially teaming up in-game.

Fallout 76 Getting Private Servers Next Week, But They'll Cost You

Also, the addition of NPC's in 76's Wastelanders update has been delayed to next year.

8 Minutes of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order Gameplay Highlights: The Force is Finally With EA

We highlight some new and interesting examples of Fallen Order in action, from AT-ST combat to the Ninth Sister.

More FPS Games

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare is Distancing Itself From Supply Drops and Loot Boxes

The Modern Warfare devs are ensuring you won't have to buy any weapons or attachments.

Blizzard's Overwatch Team Says the Nintendo Switch Port Has Been "Eye-Opening"

Bringing the hero shooter to Switch took more than just a visual overhaul.

Google Sets Stadia's Official Launch Date and Shows Off Its UI

Games are coming to Google pretty soon.

Blizzard Cancels Overwatch Switch Launch Event Amid Ongoing Public Backlash

The Nintendo New York event has been abruptly cancelled.