Activision felt 'now was the time' to put Call of Duty's DMZ mode out to pasture, says play zombies instead

warzone 2 dmz
(Image credit: Activision Blizzard)

Call of Duty's DMZ mode launched as part of Warzone 2.0 and, at the time, felt like it could be the next big multiplayer thing. Shows what I know, but the mode was essentially a fast-paced and slicker take on some key Tarkov mechanics, and the PvEvP rhythm was a welcome change in pace for the oft-relentless Warzone.

Ever since, however, DMZ hasn't had the level of content support that is now standard across COD's various offerings, and Activision even started calling it a "beta" at one point. Now shortly after the release of the disappointing Modern Warfare 3, Activision has announced that DMZ is effectively being mothballed: the mode will remain free-to-play and accessible via Warzone, but progression will no longer sync across game modes and it will no longer count towards the game's battle passes. 

"We would like to thank the entire community for their support and continued feedback on the DMZ Beta," said an Activision statement. It rather unconvincingly claims it's glad to see players pouring into the Modern Warfare Zombies mode, "which has many DMZ-inspired gameplay aspects within it."

However, while DMZ remains playable, "the mode will not be available or interact directly within Modern Warfare 3 or Call of Duty: Warzone which means that progression and any new Modern Warfare 3 or Warzone content, including Battle Pass or store bundles, will not sync or carry back into this DMZ mode. Also, DMZ progress will not apply to new Battle Passes beginning with Season 1."

Activision says it "felt now was the time to take all the learnings from the Beta that we could apply toward future development efforts as we evolve this style of play [...] Going forward, development teams will continue to evolve these dynamic open world experiences into the future. We look forward to sharing updates when ready."

So: DMZ's still in there, you can still play it, but it's been hived-off and won't receive any updates or new content. I guess the only silver lining for DMZ fans is Activision's apparent commitment to "this style of play," though given it also seems to think open-world Zombies is a suitable replacement, who knows.

Modern Warfare 3 and Warzone's season one begin on December, 6 though if you listen to PC Gamer's COD expert Morgan Park, it's maybe not gonna be worth it.

Rich Stanton

Rich is a games journalist with 15 years' experience, beginning his career on Edge magazine before working for a wide range of outlets, including Ars Technica, Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, Gamespot, the Guardian, IGN, the New Statesman, Polygon, and Vice. He was the editor of Kotaku UK, the UK arm of Kotaku, for three years before joining PC Gamer. He is the author of a Brief History of Video Games, a full history of the medium, which the Midwest Book Review described as "[a] must-read for serious minded game historians and curious video game connoisseurs alike."