The usual annual Call Of Duty announcement, like everything, has been out of step this year. But there are signs that it’s about to happen. An alternate reality game aimed at publicising what we believe will be titled Call Of Duty: Black Ops Cold War has been solved, revealing that a reveal is to be revealed.
On Friday, something is happening, but nobody knows what. There is a hint, albeit slight, that this will mean something for Warzone.
Activision confirmed during a conference call last week that Treyarch and Raven Software are working on the “next premium instalment for Call Of Duty”, which, well, obviously. Their chief operating officer Daniel Alegre added that “We’re excited for its planned release later this year”, and last month it was possibly leaked by, uh, a packet of Doritos that their upcoming game would be called Call Of Duty: Black Ops Cold War. So it seems a safe bet that’s what we can expect news about on Friday.
They are not, of course, ignoring the huge success of Call Of Duty: Warzone, which kicked off its fifth season last week. We can probably expect Codblopscow to incorporate the usual multiplayer and zombie modes, but fans have also speculated that it will incorporate Warzone too, based on the background image of the countdown website.
Normally I’d say that was a bit thin, but it would be surprising if Activision don’t play around with the infinite strands of their licence to print money. A new Blops game would naturally mean new maps, settings, and weapons, and if you’re gonna spend all that time developing them, you might as well at least experiment with porting Warzone’s systems to those maps, or bringing those old-fashioned guns to Verdansk. Black Ops was itself originally kind of a spin off after all, and if a major publisher can rejig a successful standalone into a series, they probably will.
As for the ARG, it’s a lot of hassle to go through for so little. I’m trying not to snark because bluntly, I don’t get it. It is a thoroughly underwhelming result, not worth all that effort when you’d still get the news sooner or later anyway. But then, I imagine the puzzle itself is the reward for most players, and this seems like a somewhat creative one.
So. Activision sent YouTuber “NoahJ456” a locked box containing some slides that, with a bit of rearrangement, pointed players towards Blops 4’s Summit map. Some recent changes to the map then led to a quite cute bit: the moves in the chess-famous (famous among chess nerds, so basically the opposite of actual fame. Kind of like an unbirthday) 1972 World Chess Championship between the USA and USSR, when combined with a recent story on Treyarch’s Instagram, revealed the existence of Pawntakespawn.com.
Then it gets immensely boring. It’s a date. The prize was a date. I can do dates, Activision. You can do them at home. Wednesday the 9th. Third Sunday in October. 1706. See? It’s easy. You don’t need to work for it. Anyway. The reveal, such as it is, is that something will be happening this Friday, the 14th, at 12:00.
Black Ops fans rejoice I suppose, but maybe hesitate to put much effort into any future ARGs if this is all you’re gonna get for it. And Warzoners, even if you’ve no interest in the main CoD games, you might want to keep an eye out.