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The clearest hint yet at an impending Black Ops reveal has been discovered in Call of Duty Warzone.
It’s understood that the next Call of Duty game will be called Black Ops Cold War and eventually be unveiled via a Warzone meta-game. The reveal will likely coincide with an aesthetic reboot of the free-to-play game’s map.
Warzone began teasing a Cold War theme this week when players were finally able to unlock bunker doors which had been present in the game map since launch.
Players later discovered how to use in-game phone messages to unlock a secret 11th bunker, which features scenery evocative of the Black Ops series including a war room, a number countdown, and a nuclear warhead.
On Friday Modern Warzone users discovered the most obvious Black Ops Easter Egg yet: a prototype RC car found on a table in one of Warzone’s buildings. The RC car is one of the killstreaks featured in the Black Ops series.
VGC was told this week that it’s likely the nuclear warhead discovered in Warzone’s secret 11th bunker would be used to trigger a map revamp to bring it in line with Black Ops’ cold war theme.
Spin-off Warzone has been a huge success for Activision, amassing more than 60 million players.
It was unclear at the start of the year if the upcoming Black Ops title would be incorporated into Modern Warfare-themed Warzone, since the two series traditionally operate independently and their developers have the autonomy to make their own development choices.
However, the huge popularity of the free-to-play game has proved impossible to ignore and Black Ops and Modern Warfare are set to combine in Warzone, like the series currently does with Call of Duty Mobile.
Studio sources told VGC this year that Activision has no intention of slowing down its premium Call of Duty releases, which will continue to be created under the leadership of Treyarch, Infinity Ward and Sledgehammer.
In a recent interview, Infinity Ward’s narrative director Taylor Kurosaki gave the clearest indication yet that Warzone would eventually acknowledge other Call of Duty brands, while stopping short of confirming it would integrate them.
“We’re in kind of uncharted territories here,” he told French publication GamerGen. “Call of Duty has been on a very regular cadence for many, many years, and Warzone has made us rethink exactly how best to release new content and how to integrate it.
“Call of Duty is a genre in itself. There are different branches in the Call of Duty tree, but they’re all connected in some ways.
He added: “Warzone will be the through-line that connects all of the different various sub-franchises of Call of Duty. It’s going to be really cool to see how the different sub-franchises sort of come in and out of focus, but Warzone will be the one constant.”