The entire Call of Duty: Warzone (opens in new tab) community watched yesterday as the Verdansk map that we've spent hundreds of hours shooting, running, and flying across got nuked into oblivion. Activision has turned back the clock and introduced Verdansk '84, a revamped version of the map with new buildings, layouts, and landscapes.
Verdansk '84 is not some limited-time destination or optional variant—according to developer Raven Software, the Verdansk we knew is gone forever.
"Players will never again visit current-day Verdansk," Raven associate creative director Amos Hodge said in a press briefing for Warzone Season 3. A clean break from the Verdansk of old is a big deal for a service game like Warzone that's meant to live on for years to come. Hodge said Raven used the opportunity of this new map to patch up the common ways that Warzone players have glitched under Verdansk in the past: "This is a good chance for us to go in there and update all the glitch locations as well as make quality of life improvements."
He used the example of Verdansk's rock faces that players sometimes have trouble mantling over because of their shape—they'll be more readable in Verdansk '84.
I'm more used to the Apex Legends-style map updates where small changes are permanent and entirely new maps cycle in and out of rotation with the old ones. Activision seems to be treating the transition to Verdansk '84 more like Epic does its Fortnite season finales, during which its map goes through sweeping permanent changes. It's a bit sad to think I'll never run across old Verdansk's Dam or drop out of the giant transport plane again.
I think ultimately I'd rather have more maps than fewer, but when we're talking about these gigantic arenas that can take weeks or months to learn completely, maybe a tight focus is smart. I'm sure trying to keep both versions of Verdansk would also wreak havoc on my poor SSD that already gives up too much space for Call of Duty games.