Warzone almost pivoted from a BR to become a GTA Online clone

Jeremy Gan
Warzone S2 artwork

An ex-CoD dev has revealed that Warzone could have launched as a GTA Online clone as development plans nearly pivoted from away from the Battle Royale genre. 

Despite being a little late to the Battle Royale scene, Warzone quickly became a hallmark of BRs as CoD’s spin on the genre hooked millions of players on a daily basis.

However, Warzone could have turned out very differently, according to an ex-CoD dev, who just revealed in the middle of Warzone’s development, the team was asked to pivot to make the game more of a GTA Online clone and not a BR.

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Talking to Glitching Queen about the scrapped standalone CoD Zombies game, ex-Raven Software dev Michael Gummelt discussed his work on Warzone and revealed that during the project’s development, could have become a GTA-esque version of Warzone.

“There was all sorts of stuff we prototyped that did not ship,” Gummelt said. “We had missions on the map, and there were AI on the map, and they would spawn in the map and you would go around the map fighting other teams but also AI that are also in these areas by doing contracts and all of this other stuff.” 

As for why Warzone nearly pivoted away from its Battle Royale mode to a mode GTA Online-esque copycate, he claimed it was because higher-ups wanted to make Warzone as broad as possible, who then pushed for the GTA-like approach. 

“The project director on [Warzone], Pat Kelly, his vision for it was always like GTA, it’s GTA Online but Call of Duty. There’s this persistent world that you could drop into and be able to do missions and get out,” Gummelt said. 

However, none of their ideas would be fully scrapped, as all of their prototyped ideas would go on to become DMZ, or were subsequently added to Warzone 2.0.

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