CoD Zombies is one of the most fan-favorite modes in Activision’s first-person shooter, and it could have received its own dedicated game.
Zombies has always been a bonus in Call of Duty games, highlighted by the fact that current General Manager of the franchise Johanna Faries most recently described it as a staple “third mode” alongside Campaign and Multiplayer.
However, all could have been different, as an ex-employee may have accidentally revealed publicly that a standalone Zombies game was in development.
LinkedIn Bio Claims Standalone CoD Zombies Game Was in Development
The LinkedIn page of Michael Gummelt, a former Raven Software Lead Designer, has claimed they were working on an “ambitious new Call of Duty: Zombies live service game” from November 2011 to June 2012.
However, this was subsequently shut down by the Activision studio that “owned” the CoD Zombies IP. In this case, this would be Treyarch.
Not only would this have been massive news for the Zombies community, but it would have marked Call of Duty’s entry into the live service genre eight years before they did so with Warzone in 2020.
Unfortunately for fans, we will likely never learn what the concept of the game was. If we were to speculate, it might have seen every Zombies map release on the standalone game rather than as DLC for the Call of Duty title at the time.
For those who didn’t know, back during Black Ops 2, which is around the time this dedicated CoD Zombies game would have been in development, any Zombies map released throughout the year would only be available through purchasing a DLC pack.
Meanwhile, the current setup integrates all Call of Duty content from Modern Warfare 2 (2022) onward into a single hub. There are no additional costs other than purchasing the game itself.
So, a dedicated Zombies game could have been something similar to how the system works now. This would have seen all future maps found within one central location.
As stated, it appears it was Treyarch who stunted this development, and while this is speculative, they likely wanted to keep the mode exclusive to their games at this time.
During this period, all of the different development teams would work separately on their titles. However, things have changed now as all of Activision’s Call of Duty teams collaborate on the current game.
MWZ’s arrival and Treyarch’s participation in both MW2 and MW3 Ranked Play modes showcase this. Furthermore, Sledgehammer Games also contributed to the development of MW3.
So when it comes to a standalone Zombies game being put back into development, it certainly could be possible. Though, at the moment, there are no signs of it. Never say never, though, right?