CoD devs explain why Shipment success was “truly an accident”

Nathan Warby
Shipment in Modern Warfare

Shipment has gone on to become one of Call of Duty’s most recognizable maps, but Infinity Ward devs have revealed that it was actually an error that led to its inclusion in the original Modern Warfare.

The Call of Duty series has produced some of the most iconic multiplayer maps that the FPS genre has to offer. While each new installment like Modern Warfare 2 2022 comes with a selection of launch maps, throwback maps such as Nuketown, Rust, or Terminal have a special place in the heart of the community.

One of the most instantly recognizable maps the series has produced is Shipment, which has appeared in multiple different games and is still popular in Modern Warfare 2 to this day. The compact arena is the ideal spot to level up weapons, and fans regularly take to Shipment 24/7 or Shoot the Ship to tick off challenges.

However, things could have been very different for CoD’s smallest map, as Infinity Ward developers have revealed that Shipment was never actually supposed to see the light of day.

In an interview with Dexerto, Multiplayer Design Director, Geoff Smith, said that the classic map was actually an “accident” that worked in their favor when releasing Modern Warfare in 2007, calling it “the bane of my existence.”

He explained that Shipemnt was created to be a “split-screen map, back when that was a thing,” which is why it features such a basic layout as it was meant to cater to players who had half as much screen space.

Shipment in MW2
Shipment has appeared in multiple games since 2007.

While CoD 4 was being worked on, the devs used Shipment for some internal testing, which saw the map appear on the game’s “playlist script.” Then, when launch day finally arrived, it was left in the pool of maps by mistake.

“Our MP lead at the time, when we went live, forgot to [pull] it out and there was no going back,” said Smith. “That was truly an accident.”

Modern Warfare was initially supposed to drop with 15 multiplayer maps, however, it was the accidental 16th map that would become a fan favorite.

Although it was never meant to be included in the pool of maps, Shipment went on to feature in five later CoD titles, and has been remade numerous times with different themes, such as World War II and even Christmas.

Given how popular the map still is to this day, it would be no surprise to see its legacy continue in Call of Duty 2023 or Treyarch’s 2024 title.