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Gears of War: Judgment players find hidden, playable Warzone mode

Samit Sarkar (he/him) is Polygon’s deputy managing editor. He has more than 15 years of experience covering video games, movies, television, and technology.

A few intrepid Gears of War: Judgment players have discovered the franchise's Warzone game type hidden and playable on the disc, and according to an Epic Games programmer, it's because it was easier for the developers to leave it in than remove it, reports Eurogamer.

One player by the moniker IceMaN 8o4 posted a video in which he accessed Warzone mode in a private match. As you can see above, the player goes to start a private round of team deathmatch, but simply presses the A and B buttons at the same time and is loaded into a Warzone game.

In Warzone mode, which existed in the first three Gears of War games but is absent in Judgment, two teams of players attempt to eliminate each other — each player has one life, and the round ends when one team has been eliminated or when time runs out.

The player notified Peter Knepley, senior multiplayer programmer at Judgment co-developer Epic Games, via Twitter. Knepley said that it "was easier to leave Warzone refs [references] than rip out," and added that whatever's playable on the disc is "not the polished Execution of April 2nd." In a sponsored promotion Epic is running with Maxim magazine, the studio will release two free multiplayer maps and the Execution mode on April 2; players who have paid for the Judgment season pass already have access to the content.

"Yeah I'd never say never, but Execution is way more popular than Warzone," said Knepley in a follow-up tweet, when the player asked him to confirm that Warzone wouldn't be made available in the future.

We reached out to Epic Games for comment, and a spokesperson told Polygon, "There is a text string and a bit of leftover code within TDM [team deathmatch] from Warzone. We don't have any current plans to release Warzone. But, we will be releasing Execution, a very similar mode, for free as an update on April 2 via Xbox Live."