‘Players enjoy jumping from mode to mode.’
At this point, Call of Duty’s Zombies mode is probably the series’ signature mode- the horde mode that started as a hidden easter egg developed in secret with 2008’s World at War has become the most popular mode in a very popular series, and a major reason for Treyarch’s Call of Duty games’ popularity over other installments in the series.
So then, the natural question to ask might be, why is it not its own game? Especially with Black Ops 3, Treyarch seems to have put in a lot of time and effort into the mode- the claim it is its own game within the full Call of Duty package. But why not just release a Zombies focused Call of Duty game standalone?
“We’ve got to cater for a lot of people,” Jason Blundell, director of campaign and Zombies for Call of Duty: Black Ops 3, told Eurogamer.
“Sometimes you want to watch a movie and want to be engaged narratively on a concept. And then we have multiplayer – sometimes you just want to run around and have that high engagement experience. And sometimes you want to kill the undead – sometimes you want to play Zombies.
“We see by the numbers and how people engage with the game as a whole, people change that feeling. They’ll move between the different modes.”
This recognition of players wanting a wild variety of different things, and wanting to cater to that from the same game package, has led to Black Ops 3 having three full featured modes like it does. In another first for the series, players are permitted to switch from one mode to the other seamlessly.
“We’ve made a unified .exe for the first time, which means all three modes run from the same place,” Blundell explained.
“So when you party up, you can move between each one. There’s no unloading the .exe. In previous games you’d see it go to black and then it would come back up again. You can seamlessly move because now all three are online.”
Ultimately, that’s why Zombies will always be bundled as part of the larger package.
“While it’s a lovely sentiment on the idea of breaking Zombies out into its own separate game, we see that people move between all three modes,” Blundell continued.
“And we’re always about giving as much content, as much value for money, as we possibly can. That’s why we pack our disc with as many game modes as we have currently.”
Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 launches for the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, and PC in November.