The series was able to appeal to tons of people as a result, grabbing people who wanted a cinematic story, an arcade-y multiplayer mode, and a fun, repetitive co-op mode that continued to evolve to great degrees with each entry. However, the Modern Warfare series was very anti-Zombies as it felt too tonally jarring for a series that was trying to be contemporary and somewhat grounded, particularly in the rebooted series. However, it seems no one really cares anymore as Modern Warfare 3 features a massive Zombies experience with an open-world map and the highest player count the mode has seen to date. This almost happened much sooner, though. As spotted by Modern Warzone, former Infinity Ward co-op director Brian Bright confirmed that Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (2019) was meant to feature Zombies. The team had hundreds of zombie AI and was similar to what we see in Modern Warfare 3. Unfortunately, the higher-ups at Infinity Ward weren't convinced this could gel with the gritty, realistic tone of the game so it was scrapped.
This may explain why the Spec-Ops mode in the last two Modern Warfare games felt a bit aimless and half-baked. It seems like the team was a bit more passionate in the undead and the Spec-Ops stuff was created to ensure there was a co-op mode in the game. While fans have been a bit mixed on the Zombies in Modern Warfare 3, it ultimately seems like something that Treyarch and Sledgehammer are committed to fleshing out. Whether or not any future Modern Warfare games will feature a Zombies mode remains to be seen, but it is a bit difficult to see them going back to Spec-Ops as fans are enjoying the Zombies grind a bit more.
A former Infinity Ward co-op director tweeted that they had created early workings of Zombies AI back in Modern Warfare 2019 but they couldn’t convince the leadership at IW to include zombies in a Modern Warfare game at the time. #MW3 #MWIII pic.twitter.com/dO0vAJu0Vx— ModernWarzone (@ModernWarzone) November 29, 2023
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