Infinity Ward explains why 2019 game is not Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 4

Keshav Bhat

One of the biggest surprises behind Call of Duty 2019 is the name: it’s just Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, with no numbers attached. 

Many expected (and extensively rumored) that this year’s title would be Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 4, but Infinity Ward discussed why they decided against doing that.

During our studio visit at Infinity Ward, Infinity Ward’s Studio Narrative Director Taylor Kurosaki, who was previously a Naughty Dog developer and worked on Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare’s story, explained the decision behind not making Modern Warfare 4 but rather just Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. 

The decision revolved around the fact that they did not want this year’s game to be restricted to the timeline and story aspects of what the original Modern Warfare trilogy had. They wanted to make this new Modern Warfare real. The game had to be realistic, authentic, and gritty, and turn into a game that is very realistic ‘ripped from the headlines’ and is about what’s happening in our world now, allowing players to feel a connection to it because they see it happening in the news today. Modern Warfare is a reimagining of the entire series and what the series can be in terms of authenticity. 

With Modern Warfare trilogy, while it was a modern game, the story arcs that existed were not real in a sense that can be related to events from the world. Modern Warfare 3 ended with Russia attacking America, and Kurosaki said they did not see a path in which that could be transformed into something that is real and relatable while also maintaining the Modern Warfare story arc that existed before it. And in this fictional stories, it’s hard to have a deep connection with what’s happening inside of the story (beyond characters), and Infinity Ward wanted to change that. 

There will be characters from the Modern Warfare series back, like Capitan Price, but Infinity Ward declined to share information on any other potential characters’ being in this game. 

While this is Call of Duty: Modern Warfare in the name, there’s no connections to the story of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, MW2, or MW3. This is a new story, with a new arc for the different characters. It’s not a prequel or a sequel. 

Infinity Ward’s Studio Head also mentioned that there are many original Infinity Ward developers, those who left after MW2, back at the studio working on this game. During our presentation, many of those developers spoke about what they were working on for Modern Warfare and why they were excited to reimagine the series eight years later. Some discussed that it was an incredible experience to be back at the studio to work on reimagining the series that kickstarted many of their careers in the gaming industry. 

As such, this year’s game is just Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. 

For more of our coverage on Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, check out our page for all the news we’ve posted here.

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