The secret history behind Call of Duty's zombie mode

Shawn Knight

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Anyone that’s played a Treyarch-developed Call of Duty game since 2008’s World at War has likely tried 'zombie mode'. What most people don’t know, however, is the history behind how that gameplay mode came about.

As Jason Blundell, Treyarch’s Director of Campaign & Zombies, explains, a certain animation of soldiers burning caught the eye of a group of designers working on World at War. Without the fire, the animation resembled the slow plodding along that you’d expect from the undead.

The designers started working with the animation as a side project and before long, multiple departments within Treyarch got involved. Piece by piece, the mode came together and it soon became apparent that they’d have to tell Activision about it.

Needless to say, the publisher loved it. Instead of marketing it as part of the game, the team quietly added it as a minigame after completing the regular campaign.

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So the popularity of MP Zombies in COD2 and 4 played no part in the idea? Call me skeptical.
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It's too bad this isn't even a particularly good zombie game, especially when compared to other titles available on PC. What really bothers me however are the die hard fans who claim it o be the best zombie game ever, then you ask them what other zombie games they've played, blank stare, "What other zombie games" is the response, or they compare it to L4D, which is completely different in almost every possible way. But it's good to know the people behind the mod don't even know about previous renditions.