Activision, the developer and publisher behind Call of Duty, is currently being sued by the state of California for harassment, discrimination, and a hostile work environment. Keep those things in mind as you read the rest of this story.
Today, it was reported by Charlie Intel, the internet’s traditional Call of Duty leaker and information-finder, that Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War had been updated with new files. These files, which were quickly posted on Imgur, Reddit, Twitter, and all the usual social media platforms of anonymous proliferation, not only showed off a logo and art for the upcoming Call of Duty title, but indicated that a beta for the upcoming Call of Duty: Vanguard may be coming soon.
Activision has had had these images removed from several places due to copyright strikes, so I mocked the logo image up in paint instead.
And like, okay. It’s a new Call of Duty. Apparently it’s World War II again. That’s news, I think. I’ve been doing this enough years to know when a thing is news and Call of Duty usually is at least once a year.
But it’s hard to discount the timing of these stories. I don’t think Activision planned this as a strategic leak. They’re usually so precious about Call of Duty marketing that I don’t believe they would have done this purposely and then employed copyright strikes over it. What I mean is, the Activision-Blizzard harassment lawsuit just happened and yet all it really seems to warrant in stories and discussion about this COD news is a small paragraph appended to the end of stories, like it’s the required paid postage to be able to write about Activision games at all.
While I understand the desire to move on to business as usual, and don’t think that the millions of people who play Call of Duty deserve to be punished with never getting any news about something they like, I do think it’s important we don’t misunderstand the necessary ratio of information here. If an inverted pyramid of news writing is to place the most important information first as we slowly work our way down to the least important things, I think Activision’s current ethical and legal morass is probably more important than COD going back to World War II again.
We can all probably do better.
Anyway, the game hasn’t officially been announced yet, but probably will in a week or so, and it will be interesting to see where the postage stamp-equivalent paragraph is placed in those stories, too.