CoD devs share tales of reusing maps: Overgrown hidden in Verdansk, Dome built from Vacant, more

Brad Norton
CoD Modern Warfare 3 Dome

Call of Duty developers at Infinity Ward spilled the beans on some less obvious easter eggs hidden across fan-favorite maps during our exclusive interview.

With a dozen or so maps launching each and every year with new installments in the CoD franchise, and even more still arriving later in seasonal updates, it’s no surprise certain elements are reused from time to time.

Whether it’s a significant piece of geometry, an asset for a particular building, or something else entirely, various chunks of age-old maps have stood the test of time and made multiple appearances throughout the CoD series. Though many of these surprise inclusions have gone under the radar for years at this point.

From classic locations hidden in Warzone’s mega-popular Verdansk map to assets being shared from 2005 all the way through to 2011, here’s what we learned of during our recent sit-down with two multiplayer devs at Infinity Ward.

Reusing CoD 4 assets in Verdansk

Warzone Verdansk Grandma's House
Grandma’s House made its epic return in Warzone’s original Verdansk map.

Given the sheer scope of Battle Royale maps, it’s no surprise devs look to cram in a wide range of easter eggs and nods to the past. In some cases, these are blatantly obvious, with certain POIs copying classic layouts on the whole, be it Scrapyard in the original Verdansk or Summit in the Verdansk ‘84 update.

However, many far more subtle examples are also packed in. Some of which seemingly haven’t been uncovered to this day. One such example comes from Overgrown, an original Modern Warfare map.

“People didn’t pick up on it,” Multiplayer Design Director Geoff Smith laughed. “We used a lot of old buildings from CoD 4 in Verdansk.

“There’s a house in Overgrown that for whatever reason, everyone called Grandma’s House. That house is in Verdansk but people didn’t quite pick up on it. It’s funny to slip those buildings in.”

From CoD 2 all the way to Modern Warfare 3

Call of Duty 2 Russia gameplay
Somewhere among this Russian landscape in CoD 2 is the very same geometry that would go on to serve as a building block for both Vacant and Dome.

Another fascinating example comes from Dome, Infinity Ward’s popular map that first appeared in MW3, not to be confused with Treyarch’s map of the same name from World at War. After Co-Design Director of Multiplayer Joseph Cecot shared that Dome was one of his all-time favorite CoD maps, Smith chimed back in with a “fun side story” on its creation.

“That was made when I wasn’t at the studio, but that building, the main building you can run through, is the same building in the backside of Vacant.” That alone is certainly intriguing but it turns out this particular building has a much longer history in the franchise.

“That same build” also happened to be used as a “department store in CoD 2 in Russia,” Smith continued. “That’s where I grabbed the [geometry] from. It’s funny how these little buildings can pop up and come out again.”

With so many incredible nuggets of information shared throughout just the brief conversation, there’s no doubt enough for CoD devs to fill an entire book with. We even pitched a simpler idea of just turning a Twitch stream on and giving fans a retrospective deep dive.

While nothing was locked in then and there, Smith agreed it would “be cool” to peel back the curtain for fans in that way one day down the line.

About The Author

Brad Norton is the Australian Managing Editor at Dexerto. He graduated from Swinburne University with a Bachelor’s degree in journalism and has been working full-time in the field for the past six years at the likes of Gamurs Group and now Dexerto. He loves all things single-player gaming (with Uncharted a personal favorite) but has a history on the competitive side having previously run Oceanic esports org Mindfreak. You can contact Brad at