Not everybody appreciates it, but the Zombie bits of the Call of Duty Black Ops series are probably my favourite of the disparate modes in your average Call of Duty game. They’re a fun bit of co-op gameplay that I can play with my desensitised-to-cartoonish-videogame-violence kids, as we work out how best to get through levels while shooting the undead in the face.
The Zombies mode found its genesis in Call of Duty: World at War and has been a staple of Treyarch’s Call of Duty games since. They’ve expanded in their scope, from simple kill-em-all horde modes to labyrinthine experiences with their own narratives and heroes. They’re unlikely to go away – but the guy who’s been in charge of that mode for the last decade or so is leaving Treyarch.
In a note posted to Treyarch Studios’ Twitter account, Zombies director (and also co-studio head!) Jason Blundell announced that he was leaving:
After thirteen fantastic, action-packed years I am moving on from Treyarch,” he says. “During my time at the studio I’ve been privileged to work on a variety of projects, wearing many hats along the way, with my time on the Zombies team proving to be quite special. It’s a team comprised of some of the most creative and talented developers in the industry, many of whom you never see because they’re behind the scenes shaping the direction of each experience.
Blundell served as director on Black Ops 3’s campaign and Zombies modes, as well as the Zombies mode on the otherwise campaign-free Black Ops 4. He’s also been one of the studio heads since 2016.
Word on the internet streets is that Treyarch stepped in to do this year’s Call of Duty, taking over from Raven whose work on this year’s edition has been problematic. It does mean that this year’s game might not be as polished as we’d expect from a new Call of Duty, given its shorter development cycle. The last time we had a major Call of Duty that was genuinely rushed to market, it was Call of Duty 3, and well, yeah. Yeah.
Last Updated: March 2, 2020