Warzone director discusses their use of a Fortnite-style emergent narrative
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Activision’s latest battle royale, Call of Duty: Warzone, is looking for influence from other major games in the genre, specifically Fortnite. In an interview with VentureBeat, narrative director Taylor Kurosaki spoke at length about the direction of Warzone‘s story. Activision is exploring how to tell a better story through gameplay, much like Fortnite‘s The End event.

Kurosaki discussed how storytelling Warzone is less linear than other Call of Duty titles. Warzone is closely linked to 2019’s Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, a game that has a decisive beginning, middle, and end to its story. Modern Warfare has an open ending, but that is where Warzone and an inevitable sequel will pick up.

Warzone‘s developing universe

Activision wanted the new Modern Warfare series to feel like a shared universe with a shared storyline. Kurosaki describes Warzone as an “emergent narrative,” something that the mode is well suited for. An emergent narrative allows Activision to focus more on how players construct their own stories. The events themselves would be similar to what Epic Games has done with the Meteor in Fortnite. It could result in Warzone seeing major changes to the Verdansk map, or the introduction of a new map.

Season three of Warzone has already seen major contributions to the shared storyline. The cutscene from the beginning of season three continued the story of Alex, who survived the events of Modern Warfare. “What I’ve seen is that our fans are super-hungry for more story,” Kurosaki said. “They want to know how Alex got out of the gas lab at the end of the campaign. They want to unlock the mystery.”

“That’s exactly the kind of thing that we’re working on, that we have planned. Again, it’s all going to fit into this macro that we’ve established in Modern Warfare, and that we’ve continued into Warzone,” Kurosaki said later when comparing Warzone to Fortnite. “If you know who the players are in Modern Warfare, it’ll all make sense, and it’ll all feel appropriate to the universe.”

Ryan Hay is a writer and content creator currently living in New York. Video games, anime, and Magic: The Gathering have all been strong passions in his life and being able to share those passions with others is his motivation for writing. You can find him on Twitter where he complains about losing on MTG Arena a lot.