As much as H1Z1 and PUBG kicked off the battle royale trend, Fortnite solidified the shooter subgenre’s popularity across the entire game industry. Without a doubt, Fortnite‘s explosion in popularity in 2018 turned battle royale games into the triple-A powerhouse they’ve become in the last few years. Now even the storied Call of Duty franchise has gotten in on the action, and while its first attempt wasn’t the best, Warzone has more than made up for it. Now, Call of Duty is taking yet another page out of Fortnite‘s book in a strange but unique way.
This year’s entry in the evergreen first person shooter is coming a little later than usual, but Activision and Treyarch are trying something different this year. Rather than dropping hints and a trailer, 2020’s Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War will be revealed in the Warzone battle royale as a live event. Live events are nothing new, as these large scale in-game events have somewhat become Fortnite‘s specialty. But For this type of thing to happen in a Call of Duty game, which typically doesn’t make too many leaps and bounds per each entry, it’s quite the step up.
For the longest time, there have been murmurings on the internet about 2020’s Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War reveal happening. As far back as May of 2019, rumors and leaks had detailed out the game’s Cold War setting, the Black Ops subtitle, and numerous other specific details about the game. It wasn’t until around May this year and throughout the summer where hints of the next Call of Duty game were being discovered in the bunker meta-quest in Call of Duty: Warzone. The bunkers were discovered around the release of Warzone back in March, but their true purpose was discovered in May after several updates detailed out the interiors of each bunker.
After a puzzling quest of collecting Russian phone recordings across Verdansk, players were eventually able to get access to Bunker 11. Shortly after the meta-quest went live in Warzone, players began to discover a nuclear warhead inside Bunker 11, among other hints. As if that weren’t obvious enough, this past week even more bunkers started opening, even one with a Cold War-era nuclear missile with “CCCP” written on it. These little hints in Warzone have all been leading up to the actual major reveal happening within Warzone itself, which Treyarch confirmed via Twitter on August 20.
There have been plenty of live events in Fortnite‘s history, ranging from a giant Travis Scott concert to the reveal of Christopher Nolan’s next feature-length film. Epic Games even dedicated an entire live event to just shutting down Fortnite for several days to update the game for Fortnite: Chapter 2. The media partnerships and ambition of Fortnite itself were concepts many never expected were possible in a video game, and these events had such an impact on gaming audiences that other games like Destiny 2 tried live events as well. Now Call of Duty is planning its own live event, but this time it’s far more ambitious and risky than anything Call of Duty has tried before.
This kind of meta-game teasing in Warzone is definitely on par with some of Fortnite‘s bigger live-events, but it’s certainly a first for not only Call of Duty, but other shooters in general. Fortnite has partnered up with multiple entertainment mediums for reveals/special events before, but never before has a triple-A game revealed itself organically within another triple-A video game. Call of Duty Warzone is almost certainly setting this up to be an unprecedented moment in games, despite how especially ambitious and risky this plan may be.
The consensus among theories and Warzone fans is that the nuclear warhead shown in the last bunker tease is going to be launched. Similar rumors started circulating when the first nuclear warhead was discovered in Bunker 11. The only other evidence Treyarch has provided is what looks like a Russian spy plane flying over the usual Warzone plane, with the phrase “demoralization” phasing in and out of film grain. It does bring to mind some of the wording from the initial Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War teaser earlier this week: “Know your history, or be doomed to repeat it.”
Plus, considering all the trouble Raven Software and the Warzone development team has gone through to reveal these nukes, it makes sense. Call of Duty: Warzone may have been inspired to perform a similarly cataclysmic event to Fortnite‘s Chapter 2 unveiling, to the point where Activision could do the same thing to fully unveil Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War. With only a few days away from the reveal, Call of Duty fans may want to drop in to Verdansk one last time before it’s potentially destroyed forever.
Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War will be revealed on August 26, 2020, in Call of Duty: Warzone.