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Raven Software once had live-service Call of Duty: Zombies project in development

The longtime Call of Duty support studio once had ambitious plans, including a spinoff for the series' Zombies mode and reviving a classic Raven property.

Justin Carter

January 16, 2024

1 Min Read
Soldier and zombie in promo art for Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War.
Image via Treyarch/Raven/Activision Blizzard.

At a Glance

  • In the early days of its Call of Duty tenure, Raven Software was looking to make Zombies into its own live-service offering.

An ex-Raven Software developer revealed the studio was working on a live-service project for Call of Duty's famous Zombies mode.

On LinkedIn, Michael Gummelt revealed he was a lead designer on the 2011-2012 project, which he called an "ambitious" undertaking. The project died after Zombies owner Treyarch "wanted it back."

Treyarch launched the mode in 2008 with Call of Duty: World at War. Since then, it's been a pillar of the annual shooter franchise and had two mobile spinoffs in the early 2010s.

Raven's recent history

Since 2010, Raven has co-developed several Call of Duty games and maintained the free-to-play Warzone. But beyond remasters, it's never had an opportunity to fully make its own mainline entry.

Warzone showed the franchise could break one of its modes off into a separate live-service undertaking. Zombies is fairly older, but it makes sense Activision Blizzard considered branching that out, too.

According to Gummelt's previous experience, Raven once tried to get away from Call of Duty entirely. In mid-2019, he helped design a sequel to an unnamed "classic Raven IP."

Like the Zombies spinoff, this unnamed sequel was later killed off, this time due to Warzone's popularity.

About the Author(s)

Justin Carter

Contributing Editor, GameDeveloper.com

A Kansas City, MO native, Justin Carter has written for numerous sites including IGN, Polygon, and SyFy Wire. In addition to Game Developer, his writing can be found at io9 over on Gizmodo. Don't ask him about how much gum he's had, because the answer will be more than he's willing to admit.

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