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BG icon
"It's war like you've never seen before."
―Official Game Tagline

Battlegrounds (stylized as BG and originally known as Call of Duty: Battlegrounds, later Total Warfare: More Than War) is an open world, role-playing first/third-person shooter game developed by Infinite Development Incorporated and published by Activision for Microsoft Windows, Mac OS, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Wii-U, Imagination, and Infinite Development Inc.'s own system, the Multi-Purpose Home Entertainment System (MPHES).

Officially announced on June 23, 2013 by both IDI and Activision, the game was released worldwide on September 19, 2014. It is set between the years of 2013 and 2019, and takes place during World War III. The game is set to be the start of an entirely new series of games. A direct sequel Counterattack, was released on October 4, 2017.

Battlegrounds received largely positive reviews from critics and gaming websites around the world. Praise of the game varied from the innovative multiplayer and gripping singleplayer to the game's engine. The game received multiple awards at E3 2014 and post-E3 awards, including the Golden Joystick Award for "Best Role-Playing Game."


Battlegrounds was the first game project ever taken upon by Infinite Development Incorporated. Initial development of the game started in late 2010 where Ethan, Byung-Seok, and Colin came together to figure out a way to implement an open-world environment with a war-based story. Eventually, all three of them managed to form the basis of a game based on those traits and dubbed it Call of Duty: Battlegrounds.

As time went on, IDI began to grow larger and gain more of a foothold in the gaming community. By 2011, work on Call of Duty: Battlegrounds halted after discovering problems in alternating between missions, interactions between AIs, and plot holes in the game's story. By October 2011, Call of Duty: Battlegrounds was being completely rewritten and the "Call of Duty" name was omitted from the title.

During the redesigned planning stage, Battlegrounds was renamed Total Warfare: More Than War. This was changed back to Battlegrounds after December 2011. By 2012, the game's development exited the planning stage and entered the development stage after the completion of the Ultimate Experience Engine. By 2012, IDI reached a total of 97 employees, all of which were working on the game. On May 7, 2012, IDI began talks with Activision to have them publish the game to which Activision accepted.

In 2013, Battlegrounds was near completion and Ethan knew that it was time to publicize the game. Both IDI and Activision began releasing statements regarding the new game and began leaking pictures and videos of the game's development.

It wasn't until E3 2014 where Battlegrounds made its first official appearance. At E3 2014, Battlegrounds was awarded 17 accolades. The game also received critical acclaim for the innovations it brought to the plate.

The game was officially released on September 19, 2014 after more than four years of development. It was a critical and commercial success, giving IDI a foot hold in the gaming world.

Game Builds

A year after the game's release, IDI revealed that Battlegrounds went through a total of five pre-beta builds, two beta builds, and a single alpha build which later became the final game.

First Build

The first build of the game began on March 4, 2011 as a test build for the game. It ran on the Blender game engine and included many features that were eventually cut from the game or redesigned. Work ended on May 19, 2011.

Second Build

Work on the second build of the game began on August 22, 2011 and, once again, ran on the Blender game engine. At this point, missions and work on some of the game's features were worked on. The test provided valuable experience for future builds. Work concluded on November 8, 2011.

Third Build

After the second build was completed, work on the third build started on June 7, 2012. With the completion of the UEE, IDI was able to pretty much create the entire game on this singular build. According to IDI CEO, Ethan Sumner, this was the most important build of the game. Not only did it introduce the power of the UEE, but also gave IDI staff members a chance to learn how to use the new engine and created most of the final game's models and set pieces. Work concluded on December 27, 2012.

Fourth Build

The fourth build of the game brought the sounds and effects into the game as well as fixed bugs that hindered gameplay. Work started on February 9, 2013 and ended on March 13th, 2013.

Fifth Build

The final pre-beta build began on April 20, 2013. This build was mainly used for fine tuning the game's mechanics, features, and models/textures. It also removed items, characters, vehicles, etc. that were deemed not to fit in with the story at the time. Work ended on June 3, 2013.

First Beta Build

The first beta build of the game was constructed on July 4, 2013 and fixed sound and effect issues present in the game. The initial beta test proved satisfactory, but still required work. Work concluded on July 25, 2013.

Second Beta Build (Open Beta)

The open beta build of the game was constructed on September 27, 2013 for the game's presentation at E3 2014. The open beta fixed problems present in the first beta build and removed some vehicles and weapons to enhance gameplay. Work concluded on January 9, 2014.

Alpha Build

The alpha build of the game was the final build of the game. It remained pretty much identical to the open beta, with the exception of polished textures and fluent motions from characters and vehicles. Work started on April 17, 2014 and concluded on June 16, 2014.

Taglines and Trailers

Battlegrounds has multiple taglines and trailers for the game. Each tagline is featured in its own trailer.

"It's war like you've never seen before."
― Official Game Tagline and featured in the A New Conflict trailer.
"Crush your enemies in a real-time multiplayer experience."
―Tagline featured in the Call to Arms trailer.
"Chose your loadout for combat."
―Tagline featured in the Weapons trailer.
"Dominate with the most powerful vehicles on land."
― Tagline featured in the Armored Warfare trailer.
"The sky is yours."
―Tagline featured in the Dogfight trailer.
"Control the seas and support your allies."
―Tagline featured in the Naval Warfare trailer.
"The war that really ends all wars."
― Tagline featured in the Total Warfare trailer.
"Never forget those who have fallen."
― Tagline from the The Final Breath trailer.
"The dead can't speak for themselves."
― Tagline from the Return to Hell (Zombies) trailer.
"This will be the most realistic game on the market."
― Ethan Sumner at the IDI Press Conference.


For the transcript of the A New Conflict Trailer, see Battlegrounds/A New Conflict Trailer.
For the transcript of the Call to Arms Trailer, see Battlegrounds/Call to Arms Trailer.
For the transcript of the Weapons Trailer, see Battlegrounds/Weapons Trailer.
For the transcript of the Armored Warfare Trailer, see Battlegrounds/Armored Warfare Trailer.
For the transcript of the Dogfight Trailer, see Battlegrounds/Dogfight Trailer.
For the transcript of the Naval Warfare Trailer, see Battlegrounds/Naval Warfare Trailer.
For the transcript of the Total Warfare Trailer, see Battlegrounds/Total Warfare Trailer.
For the transcript of The Final Breath Trailer, see Battlegrounds/The Final Breath Trailer.
For the transcript for the Return to Hell Trailer, see Battlegrounds/Return to Hell.
For the transcript from the IDI Press Conference, see Battlegrounds/IDI Press Conference.


Battlegrounds follows an open world, role playing, shooter style of gameplay, with Nightfall being another one, which was made by a longtime gaming partner NINE100 Studios. Battlegrounds uses the Mk.I version of the Ultimate Experience Engine, which is common in Infinite Development Inc. games due to it being easily modified for specific game genres. It also allows the players to create their own custom characters through a unique process called "Character Mapping."  Another feature, called "Loadout Assembly," allows the player to access weapons and vehicles that have been used or obtained in game and to customize, repair, or sell them.

The first and third-person modes are greatly enhanced and far more realistic than in most other FPS/TPS', such as that the HUD does not retain any reticles, mini-maps, indicators, etc. Instead, it has the feel of an actual person during their everyday life. This also allows for more diverse interactions with the surroundings in game, thus making Battlegrounds 100% open-world.

The multiplayer in this game has all of the same mechanics as in single-player. Codenamed "Mutliplayer Campaign" the multiplayer server holds all players worldwide as they fight against each other. Due to these various features, Battlegrounds is considered the most realistic game ever made and is the first game in a planned trilogy.





Battlegrounds provides a wide variety of characters that can be interacted with or seen in combat. The following list features all main and minor characters in the game. A list of background/randomly generated characters can be seen here: List of Background Characters.

Main Characters



Minor Characters




For the weapons of Battlegrounds, see Battlegrounds/Weapons.

Battlegrounds contains a large range of weapons for the player to use in-game. Through most of the start of the game, only real world weapons can be found and used, though as the game progresses, fictional weapons can be found and used by both the player and NPCs in-game. More information can be found on the weapons page.


For the vehicles of Battlegrounds, see Battlegrounds/Vehicles.
For comparisons between vehicles, see Battlegrounds/Vehicle Comparisons.

Battlegrounds contains a large selection of vehicles in-game. The player has full control of real world and fictional vehicles throughout the course of the game. The player and NPCs can use tanks, planes, ships, etc. to change the course of the battle. More information can be found on the pages above.


The campaign takes place during World War III. Just before World War III in the year of 2013, the China, North Korea, and Iran leave the United Nations, and leave confusion and mistrust among the remaining members. Covert operation into these countries launched on May 14, and return on May 15 with no information being obtained. Four days later, the unthinkable happens, China and North Korea launch an invasion into South Korea.

As days and months go by, countries chose sides and throw themselves into combat. Two sides, the Allies and the Separatists, are formed and World War III officially begins.

It would take six years before the war would end in 2019, leaving death and destruction in its wake.

Unique Features

World Map

Character Mapping

Gameplay Mechanics



Innovation-enabled Content


The soundtrack for Battlegrounds was composed and conducted by Ethan Sumner, who received guidance from Hanz Zimmer. Musicians included Ethan Sumner, William McKee, Anthony Gurunian, Danielle Sun, Julia Healy, Annika Smith, Colin Arscott, Byung-Seok Kim, and Parker Griep.

The soundtrack can be viewed here: Battlegrounds/Soundtrack


Call of Duty Zombies makes an appearance in Battlegrounds as the Survival Mode. Zombies was included in the game after IDI and Treyarch agreed to share the rights to the Zombies storyline. However, instead of continuing the current Zombies storyline, IDI makes everything from Five to Origins non-canon and is, essentially, a complete revamp of the entire story.


Remember When... Storyline

Expansions and DLCs

Years DLCs (Single-Player and Multi-Player)

Due to the expansiveness of the game, in order to keep the game running smoothly, Ethan decided to release the single-player and multi-player aspects of the game based on the years of World War III. The game comes standard with the year of 2013. Each Year DLC is released every three months.

Retreat - 2014

Invasion - 2015

Retaliation - 2016

Depression - 2017

Termination - 2018

Victory - 2019

Steel Wall Pack - Vehicle DLC

Details to be added.

Extra Munitions - Weapon DLC

Details to be added.

Cold Front - World Map DLC (Single-Player and Multi-Player)

The Cold Front DLC affects all previous DLCs by adding in the continent of Antarctica, the region of the Noth Arctic, the Arctic Front, and missions related to them. With the release of this DLC, new weapons, accessories, vehicle upgrades, and vehicles in general are included.

Future's Fortune - Zombies DLC

The first Zombies DLC released for Battlegrounds, Future's Fortune takes a sharp turn away from the current Zombies storyline and follows the original canon of the Black Ops trilogy from the perspective of brand new characters. All information can be found on the main page linked above.

Easter Eggs and Cut Content

Main articles: Battlegrounds/Easter Eggs and Battlegrounds/Cut Content.

Battlegrounds contains excessive amounts of easter eggs and cut content for the player to discover. Easter Eggs can be found in-game by either completing tasks or as little surprises that usually go unnoticed. Meanwhile, cut content can only be found in the game's files, but some do have the ability to be brought back into the game.

HBO-IDI mini-series

Main article: Battlegrounds/The Battlefield

On August 14, 2015, the first of a thirteen-part series based on Battlegrounds premiered on international television. Following Lieutenant Williams and members of International Task Force 1, The Battlefield follows the same plot as the original game, but with carefully selected paths. The mini-series received generally positive reviews.




Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings 93.50%
Metacritic 100/100
Review scores
Publication Score
Computer and Video Games 9.4/10
Edge 10/10
Electronic Gaming Monthly 9.5/10
Eurogamer 9.7/10
Famitsu 39/10
Game Informer 10/10
GameSpot 10/10
GamesRadar 4.8 out of 5 stars
GamesTM 10/10
GameTrailers 9.6/10
Giant Bomb 5 out of 5 stars
IGN 10/10
Joystiq 4.5 out of 5 stars
Official PlayStation Magazine (US) 10/10
Polygon 9.1/10 9.5/10
Destructoid 9/10 10/10
Battlegrounds received universal acclaim, obtaining a total of 40 perfect scores from gaming publications, just two shy of The Last of Us' record 42 perfect scores. The game holds a score of 100 on Metacritic and a 93.50% on GameRankings. The review aggregator Metacritic rated it as the number one game of 2014 and an amazing launch title for the Multi-Purpose Home Entertainment System. Battlegrounds is also one of the highest rated games on GameRankings.

Edge gave the game a perfect 10/10, stating that "IDI has managed to create a game that simulates the realism of modern warfare set the backdrop for a gripping story full of emotion, sacrifice, motivation, and suspense. Taking full advantage of the ideas and tools given to them, IDI has made a name for themselves and have set the bar for games that follow it." Game Informer rated Battlegrounds a 10/10, stating that "As action games began getting repetitive and no game could seem to match what was previously given to us, Battlegrounds emerges from the ashes and shows us otherwise. It's epic story combined with the realism of combat and an innovative multiplayer. It has become a beacon for what seemed like a dying genre." Good Game's hosts Steven O'Donnell and Stephanie Bendixsen both gave the game a perfect score of 10/10, the tenth game on the show to do so.

GamesTM gave the a perfect 10/10, saying that "Despite being a first-time developer, IDI has given us the best game they could and it's marvelous. By mixing realism with a deep storyline gave Battlegrounds the best gameplay for any action game made in 2014." PlaySta wtion Official Magazine gave the game a 10/10, stating "Battlegrounds has a level of authenticity and originality that most developers just couldn't match. With its unique multiplayer, amazing single-player, and stellar graphics, IDI created a fantastic game." IGN gave another perfect score of 10/10, stating, "The amazing graphics and stellar story writing made Battlegrounds one of the best games of the year."

Though still largely positive, Polygon's Philip Kollar was more critical about the game, such as the realism of warfare retracting somewhat from the story and the way conversations were handled. Though he praised the game for having intelligent AI that acted like people, having the ability to switch between third and first person, and the overall style of gameplay. Computer and Video Games rated the game a 9.4/10, also stating that the combat removed some aspects of the story.


In the United States, the game debuted at number one in the sales charts, just beating Call of Duty: Iron Wolf, and was there for five weeks straight. Battlegrounds also topped the charts in Russia, Germany, Italy, Spain, China, Ireland, Sweden, and Finland, but lost in the United Kingdom, France, Belgium, and the Netherlands to Call of Duty: Iron Wolf. The game sold 1.8 million copies in the first week, and 5.4 million copies worldwide in three weeks.


Battlegrounds won and was a runner-up for numerous awards at E3 2014. It also won numerous post-E3 awards.

Award Event Presented by
Best Action Game E3 2014 None
Best Role-Playing Game E3 2014 None
Best of Show Runner-up E3 2014 None
Best Adventure Game Runner-up E3 2014 None
Best Online Multiplayer Runner-up E3 2014 None
Best Graphics Runner-up E3 2014 None
Most Anticpated Runner-up E3 2014 None
Best of E3 Runner-up E3 2014 None
Best Trailer Gamescon 2014 IGN
Best Single-Player Gamescon 2014 Official PlayStation Magazine
Best Launch Title Gamescon 2014 Metacritic
Best Multiplayer Gamescon 2014 GamesTM
Best of Gamescon Gamescon 2014 Game Informer
Game of the Year None GameSpot, IGN, and Game Informer
Action/Adventure Game of the Year Golden Joystick Awards None
RPG of the Year Golden Joystick Awards None
Ultimate Game of the Year Golden Joystick Awards None


  • Due to the use of the Ultimate Experience Engine, the developers were able to create the largest open world first/third-person in history.
    • Because of this, Battlegrounds greatly outclasses and overpowers games such as Mass Effect, Fallout, and Saints Row.
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