Former Call of Duty Dev Shares New Details on Cancelled Zombies Game

The lead developer of a cancelled Call of Duty: Zombies game, Michael Gummelt, recently shared details on the game that never came to fruition in a recent interview. In the interview with Glitching Queen, the ex-Raven Software lead provided details on the cancelled game, which was in-development from 2011 – 2012 under the codename "Project Zed." While according to Gummelt his team "never actually got far enough to actually start making" the game and only the design documents had been prepared, he also revealed plenty of details about the game that ultimately never received a go-ahead from Activision.

The news of this cancelled game's existence first came to light back in January of this year on Gummelt's LinkedIn page. On the page, Call of Duty: Zombies was described as "an ambitious" live service project. The information on LinkedIn also includes that Zombies was "canceled when the ATVI studio that 'owned' that part of the Call of Duty IP wanted it back."

As is eluded to above, developer Treyarch ultimately decided to retain the Zombies part of the IP as a mode within Call of Duty rather than a standalone Zombies game. According to Gummelt's beliefs, Treyarch initially had behind-the-scenes issues that made them question whether or not they wanted to continue with Zombies, which is why Raven was offered the opportunity to begin with. While the standalone Zombies game was not meant to be, we do know a bit of what it would have entailed thanks to this interview.

What Could Have Been
The lead developer revealed that Call of Duty: Zombies was intended as a four player co-op, initially placing groups in a Mad Max-esque gladiator arena where they would face rounds of zombies to fight. Eventually, players would stage an escape from the arena and set out to explore the open world where they would fight zombies, sometimes in waves, to gain rewards. Gummelt notes in the interview that his team intended to "have fun with it" while maintaining the tone and style present in other Call of Duty games at the time.

The veteran developer stated that Call of Duty: Zombies was largely based on his own prototypes from the time he spent working on Call of Duty Online. The China-exclusive game, which was shut down in 2021, had a similar mode where players would fight off hoards of cyborgs rather than zombies. As such, Zombies was intended to be supported and updated as a live game with seasons that brought new content to players, as well as microtransactions based on Call of Duty Online with customization.

The Mad Max-esque Call of Duty: Zombies would not have been a straight port of the old CoD zombies, and was also described by Gummelt fun, campy, and experimental. Contrary to rumors claiming otherwise, Gummelt also asserts that no other standalone zombies games were ever planned. While there is no standalone game as a result, the closest we've gotten to anything close to it is Modern Warfare 3's zombies mode, which features the open world aspect the standalone would've provided.

Related Forum: Call of Duty Forum



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well, maybe they can put t in the next COD fr


That's a shame smh we should have been had a zombies game from treyarch !