The "Zombie Mode" Conundrum

Call of Duty Black Ops II Zombies

The "Zombie Mode" Conundrum

It's pretty obvious IMO that Zombies mode is a dead end game.

First, it's a side game of an alternating year series. If you look at the series, Zombies is a fraction of a fraction....maybe as little as 12.5% of the franchise (25% of 50%) of the COD series (and thats being generous).

Second, Activision has a rep for not stepping out on the ledge of innovation, prefering instead to stripmine revenue with subtle innovation and reskins till a series dies of exposure.

The zombie game....the maps, have become pretty lame to the point that high rounds are not really about challenge/skill but more about time/luck. If you have 12 hours to play, you might make the top 20% of the leaderboards....unless someone quits, times out, server down, anmi error, etc. Just look at the BO1 leaderboards vs BO2.....the direction is obvious.

They are already in the "milk it for all its worth" mode as far as zombie gameplay....target marketing the weak/casual group with eased gameplay....too allow them to compete on stats and rounds they would otherwise never have been able to accomplish.

So...adding all that up...

If the next Treyarch release has a zombies mode at all, I think it will continue the direction of BO2. They are not going to step out on a ledge and alter the game drastically and I seriously doubt they'll go backwards from the over powered guns and buildable traps. If there is another zombie mode in the next disc...it will be the cashing out release....

Of course, those "if's" assume they are still able to milk out COD into 2014-2015. It's just a matter of time before someone else innovates FPS (maybe a viable MMO) and the sales take a "Guitar Hero" nose dive.

The Conundrum is that there is a formula for "milking out" and "abandoning"....I think we are nearing the end of the milking stage. They are targeting the casual zombie players....they've abandoned the hardcore.

An interesting quote....

“There was nothing that Activision or anybody could have done to save Guitar Hero,” said Jesse Divnich, vice president of analyst services for Electronic Entertainment Design and Research, in an interview with Wired.com. Divnich said that Activision realizes the “opportunity cost” of continuing to make Hero games when it could instead be putting those resources towards more profitable games. Divnich said that the casual gamers that made up the majority of guitar games’ audience have now moved on.


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31 REPLIES

Re: The "Zombie Mode" Conundrum

in reply to USarmyvet

It's so close to being right it's silly.  They're succeeding in appealing to a wider audience and thus hopefully increasing it's life span.  For the next one they just need to work on this idea of an easy mode.


If they can have 2 leaderboards, a normal board for the casual, and a hardcore one to represent the increased difficulties - be that the exclusion of builadbles etc, then I think they'd hit gold.

Level 9
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Re: The "Zombie Mode" Conundrum

in reply to whots_his_face

i want a classic buried--no buildables, all destroyable barriers have to be purchased with points, no bank, no weapon locker.

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Re: The "Zombie Mode" Conundrum

in reply to LilRobot

LilRobot wrote:

i want a classic buried--no buildables, all destroyable barriers have to be purchased with points, no bank, no weapon locker.

Again.....expansion isn't part of the formula. This would require they devote money to a disc that's life is about to end. They aren't going to code anything for free and they won't step on Ghosts sales.

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Re: The "Zombie Mode" Conundrum

in reply to whots_his_face

whots_his_face wrote:

If they can have 2 leaderboards, a normal board for the casual, and a hardcore one to represent the increased difficulties - be that the exclusion of builadbles etc, then I think they'd hit gold.

Except that would sidetrack the formula.

How many serious zombie players would be shocked to see this statement in the future? Not me....

“There was nothing that Activision or anybody could have done to save Zombies” said Jesse Divnich, vice president of analyst services for Electronic Entertainment Design and Research, in an interview with Wired.com. Divnich said that Activision realizes the “opportunity cost” of continuing to make a Zombies Mode when it could instead be putting those resources towards more profitable games. Divnich said that the casual gamers that made up the majority of Zombies audience have now moved on.

It's now a matter of waiting for the other shoe to drop.....losing the casual.

It comes down to marketing. Once they have abandoned the serious core group to stripmine the glitchers and emblem chasers.....where could it possibly go from there?

If they had a game "DNA" test.....Buried is in the glitching family tree. Nobody can seriously argue against the similarities.

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Re: The "Zombie Mode" Conundrum

in reply to USarmyvet

While I share your uncertainty about it's future, the fat lady certainly hasn't sang yet.  By your own reasoning the formular has been changed.  I can not view Nacht and buried as being part of the same game.

My first experience of zombies was Nacht, I absolutely loved it, I felt compelled to buy the map pack.  However, rather embarrassingly, I refused to touch any of the other maps due to what appeared to be  a completely different game.  It wasn't in fact until Kino, that my stance changed and I started to like these new perks and gameplay.

Don't give up on her yet.

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Re: The "Zombie Mode" Conundrum

in reply to whots_his_face

whots_his_face wrote:

While I share your uncertainty about it's future, the fat lady certainly hasn't sang yet.  By your own reasoning the formular has been changed.  I can not view Nacht and buried as being part of the same game.

My first experience of zombies was Nacht, I absolutely loved it, I felt compelled to buy the map pack.  However, rather embarrassingly, I refused to touch any of the other maps due to what appeared to be  a completely different game.  It wasn't in fact until Kino, that my stance changed and I started to like these new perks and gameplay.

Don't give up on her yet.

I didn't change.....zombies did. They gave up on me.

I've been pounding google for a new challenge that me and my core friends can roll to. Im really interested in the MMOFPS concept but nothing along the zombies genre looks very appealing.

My first game addiction was Tribes 2....stopped gaming after Dynamix abandoned that. I played on the community server patch a bit....lost interest.

I know IW wasn't behind Zombies mode but the defectors seem to be pushing some innovation. I'll be keeping an eye on them.

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Re: The "Zombie Mode" Conundrum

in reply to USarmyvet

To autor: Hey! You are right!

But there are way to make your game very HARDCORE.

Try. Choose:

-NukeTown Zombies

-Only Headshot

-Without magic.

Your game will be VERY HARD. I LOVE THIS GAMEMODE :-).

I still hope, that in DLC4 will be small map for survival. I don't like BIG maps with stupid bank and many features!

Level 3
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Re: The "Zombie Mode" Conundrum

in reply to kubaork

It won't be small (ie, you move around on a tank, we've seen several different areas, and 1000 ft tall robots), but it probably won't have a bank/weapons locker.

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Re: The "Zombie Mode" Conundrum

in reply to SevenThug

Okey. You are right. But they can CUT map and make small maps like on Green Run.

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