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Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 Canceled Campaign Mode Gameplay Leaked

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The curious (and sad) story of BO4:

People still remember clearly what a trainwreck BO4 was. Promising at the reveal event, since it was promoted as a celebration of 10 years of Black Ops history. The fact that it had no campaign and it'd have a BR mode instead made people skeptical. And then, it released. Crashes/Blue Screens left and right, it took Treyarch more than a month to patch the game to a state where it didn't crash when you changed to Zombies from Blackout. Then the new Zombies storyline (Chaos) was "cancelled" after DLC2, and the original story (Aether) was given a (debatably) unsatisfying ending, where everyone just dies and it's implied the whole multiverse is rebooted. This will be relevant later on.

Then, the monetization. BO4 was the first game in which ATVI tried to move away from the stigma lootboxes had and the increasing pressure for governments to regulate them. Keyword is tried. They implemented a 100% free battle pass system that made sure every player had access to game-changing content. One day, they just moved the new weapons onto reserves (loot boxes) and to "compensate" players, they brought back Weapon Bribes from BO3 to BO4, with the usual anti-consumer BS. The pay-to-win element they added to Blackout -one of BO4's few actually engaging parts- didn't help, either.

For all the good things BO4 did, such as a new Zombies storyline with interesting elements and the switch to a proyectile-based ballistic model, ATVI made sure to add at least two awful additions that actively screwed over their players, the people that gave the game a chance. Even with the Black Ops Pass, no campaign, the staggering amount of recycled content (because Blackout), and the fact some features they promised (Zombies Factions) were never released. It was truly one of the lowest points of the CoD franchise, and for Treyarch. The latter lost the trust of many fans, and some even speculate that's why Jason Blundell (a long-time Treyarch dev and figurehead of Zombies) left the company, similar to what happened to Condrey and Schofield.

Treyarch eventually made some much-needed changes to the content unlocking system, allowing people to unlock weapons more easily, but it was too late for a not-so-small amount of the playerbase, since it was almost a year after the game was released. Especially given that it was recently exposed how Treyarch treated its QA staff, which in turn caused one of their tester to leak a lot of inside info on r/CoDZombies months before, creating a massive drama.

Why all of this is relevant? What about the video?

This seems to confirm the leaks that happened before the game was revealed and sometime after it released. Those leaks said that the game started its development as a direct sequel to BO3, and explored "time travel" to key events of the Black Ops universe. The last part cannot be truly verified just with this gameplay clip, but the fact that there was a campaign at all seems to be confirmed. Supposedly it had a Co-Op component, with "races to finish every mission" along the story.

They also stated that BO4's dev cycle was a troubled one, as it came after the wrap-up of an unusual dev cycle for BO3, which received its last DLC -Zombies Chronicles- 2 years after the game's release, AND with a Treyarch unable to convince ATVI of the direction they wanted to take their new game on, particularly because of what (sadly) happened to Infinite Warfare and the hate it received for its futuristic setting, and the rise on popularity of the Battle Royale genre, spearheaded by PUBG and Fortnite. These factors combined were the reasoning for ATVI to tell Treyarch to scrap the campaign and start working on Battle Royale, which would become Blackout. Surprisingly, Treyarch devs (headed by David Vonderhaar) designed and implemented the mode in just 9 months before release.

The leftover assets and some cutscenes from the cut campaign were repurpoused and put together to make the Specialist Training mode, a kind-of Campaign which consisted in somewhat scripted MP matches with bots.

What about the future? The next game will be as divisive?

The Vietnam-based game SHG and Raven Software were co-developing was allegedly mostly done SP-wise, the MP portion was less complete and was the main cause for both developers' friction -as reported by an article on Kotaku-, since they had different visions for the mode. That escalated, and ATVI put Treyarch at the helm of the development, with the aforementioned studios doing support roles, and reportedly restarted the development to make a Black Ops reboot, converting the work already done to fit on the Black Ops universe. Remember the point I told you would be important? With this reboot, they'll likely reboot the Zombies story too, guaranteeing themselves another possible 10 years of Zombies DLC revenue, if they go the reboot route implied by BO4's DLC4.

My point with what I just wrote? That happened, according to the Kotaku article, mid-last year. Barely a year has passed, and CoD game reveals usually happen around this time of the year. Given that game development is no easy or simple task, how is this game gonna turn out? Especially considering this will be the first next-gen CoD game (similar to 2013's Ghosts, which was on six platforms) and they'll likely have to meet their usual October/November release window, and the pandemic surely made Treyarch/ATVI to migrate some of their workflow to be done from home, slowing the overall process further.

We already have a precedent with BO4 to argue that CoD 2020 will be a disaster, and it MAY be. Some people have been asking to ATVI to release the MP portion of MW2 Remastered: to give the devs more time to properly finish the game and ATVI a chance to mantain their holiday revenue more or less the same. However, it's unlikely ATVI will opt to miss the huge revenue-maximizing opportunity the holiday season AND the next-gen consoles' release will signify, so people are stating that its really likely this year's CoD will be a shitshow. Hopefully they have learned from their mistakes, but with Treyarch's reputation being as affected as it is, it remains dubious for a section of the community if they can actually pull this off.


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Is it possible that the Nacht plane in Call of Duty: Black Ops Zombies actually holds the key to a hidden easter egg or secret storyline within the game? Are there any clues or hints that suggest its significance beyond just being a background element?
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