Modern Warfare 2’s ‘Escape from Tarkov’ DMZ mode: Free-to-play rumors, launch date, leaks & more

Joe Craven
Modern Warfare 2 Ghost next to MWII logo

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 is now confirmed as Infinity Ward’s 2022 installment in the FPS franchise and will reportedly feature a new mode known as DMZ. Here, we’re detailing everything we know about the mode ahead of the game’s launch. 

While recent games in the Call of Duty series have tended towards Zombies as the third mode (alongside Campaign and Multiplayer), all reports indicate that 2022’s Modern Warfare 2 will deviate in favor of a DMZ mode. 

Details are limited on the mode but leaks and rumors mean we still have some idea of what to expect when Infinity Ward’s title drops on October 28.

Here, we’re going to run through everything we know about DMZ, its likeness to Escape from Tarkov, and how it will fit alongside Warzone 2 and another annual installment.


Blurred Modern Warfare image with Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 logo
MWII will be a follow-up to 2019’s Modern Warfare.

DMZ mode confirmed in Modern Warfare 2 leaks

After months of leaks, rumors, and rampant speculation, it now appears the DMZ mode is indeed official for Modern Warfare 2.

A leaked picture from an early playtest involving NFL players showed a promotion for the DMZ mode directly in-game. Thus, it’s officially in development and already being pushed in an early build. As to whether it’ll be ready for launch, however, we’ll have to wait and see. More on the possible release window below.

Launch Date

Initially, it was reported that DMZ would launch in 2023 as a standalone F2P title. However, the latest claims have since implied that isn’t the case, with DMZ expected to feature as part of Modern Warfare at launch instead.

Thus, fans should be able to get their hands on the new mode from October 28, if the latest intel holds true.

Furthermore, DMZ could also launch in Beta, according to various reports, with the mode expected to evolve over time.


Another major leak surrounding DMZ is that it will allegedly be free-to-play, in the same vein as 2020’s Warzone. That information came by way of reputable leaker RalphsValve, who has correctly released information on Vanguard and Warzone in the past.

Similar to early release date speculation, these F2P reports have since been shut down, however. DMZ is now expected to feature as part of Modern Warfare 2, meaning players will have to own the premium, mainline title in order to access this mode.

Modern Warfare 2 NVG picture
Modern Warfare 2 is sure to include most classic multiplayer modes, along with some fresh additions.

DMZ mode details: player count, map, Escape From Tarkov, more

In terms of actual details on DMZ, we have not yet had any confirmed gameplay from Activision or Infinity Ward. However, all reports to this point suggest it will steer the series into more realistic waters, as opposed to the fast-paced arcade-like gameplay many have come to associate with CoD.

It is also said to be launching with a Solo mode only, with Duos, Trios, and Quads slated for post-launch updates.

According to rumors, players will be tasked with looting up and working their way through various smaller environments before seeking extraction. Lobbies will be between 20 and 35 players in size, putting it as a middle-ground between classic CoD multiplayer and the recent foray into battle royale.

It appears to be the latest in a line of moves by Activision to diversify the CoD brand and ensure its player base is as broad as possible.

That’s all the information we currently have on Call of Duty’s DMZ mode. Naturally, this information remains unconfirmed until Activision or Infinity Ward make official announcements pertaining to DMZ. We’ll be the first to update you if and when they do.