Canceled Black Ops 4 'Career' Campaign Mode Details Seemingly Leaked

"The goal was to take the format of the campaign and evolve it into a co-operative live service that linked back into the Multiplayer..."
"The goal was to take the format of the campaign and evolve it into a co-operative live service that linked back into the Multiplayer..." / Image courtesy of Activision

A massive Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 leak has made its way to Reddit, seemingly revealing all there is to know about Treyarch's notoriously canceled campaign mode from 2018.

From mission design to combat, progression, and narrative, details about the scrapped experience — which remains the only instance in the mainline series to this day — appears to have been aired out for all those curious.

The apparent leak was published Tuesday by u/Purpletoaster20 on the r/GamingLeakAndRumors subreddit, a post that has accumulated 21 community awards at the time of publication.

Purpletoaster20 claims in the post that the leak is the result of months of research and discussion with people who have inside knowledge of the mode, and that they will also be releasing a long-form video on the topic on Aug. 18.

In addition to an Imgur album containing what is said to be over 400 images of leaked concept arts, screenshots and more from the mode's development process, Purpletoaster20 runs down seemingly all there is to know about the canceled content.

Going through the post, it appears to line up with the 2019 Kotaku report from Jason Schreier that detailed the "turbulent production," "drastic reboot" and "perpetual crunch" that plagued Treyarch and its QA team in the months leading up to the launch of Black Ops 4.

"Black Ops 4’s original campaign was called Career," Purpletoaster20's post reads. "It was scoped to be a 2-v-2 'race to the finish' mode as covered by Jason Schreier with his 2019 article covering the developer abuse within Treyarch. The mode was scrapped in early 2018 due to technical issues & the overall gameplay loop being described as too repetitive on top of the title being set to release a month earlier for October 2018. Outside of that, there’s very little knowledge in the public for how this mode would’ve played."

Some of the main highlights regarding the mode include:

  • The Black Ops 4 campaign was set after BO3’s story in a post-apocalyptic world in 2070
  • The goal was to take the format of the campaign and evolve it into a cooperative live service that linked back into the Multiplayer to create a singular narrative universe that could also engage players who wouldn’t usually play with the campaign
  • Rather than playing through the campaign solo, players would team up with a partner, battling against a pair of human or AI opponents
  • Each side would pick a faction — the Free People’s Army (FPA) or the World United Nations (WUN) — and compete over different objectives (e.g. one side might try to destroy a convoy while the other side worked to protect it)
  • Each mission would be about 20 minutes long and give players chances to get into shootouts with the other team, hampering their progress
  • Each major story point within a mission would play a global cutscene from the player's faction's perspective, depending on the outcome of certain objectives
  • During different moments throughout the story, players could also get the chance to defect and switch sides if they weren't happy with the decisions/consequences
  • Similar to BO3’s campaign, you would earn XP by playing the campaign and unlock new weapons, abilities and equipment
  • Each season of Career would include around three new missions

Ultimately, it is certainly noteworthy to see a leak of this magnitude come out, especially nearly four years after the initial launch of BO4.

At the time, especially before the Schreier report, some might recall that the narrative from Activision was "the BO4 campaign was never planned" and that "Treyarch just "wanted to try something different."

According to Purpletoaster20, this leak was something they could only get to now due to college responsibilities, and that this is something they simply wanted to share for those interested.

"If [Activision and Treyarch] care, they delete & I move on with life," Purpletoaster20 wrote. "This was a fun summer project & taught me a lot on Game Development (which is odd since my career choice isn't remotely close to it lmao). You won't have to worry about me after this. This + a hint of MP is all I have & I don't think I'll have the time to do something like this again... The vid & 1 more post, then I move on."

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