Along with the ESRB, online game retailers are notorious for revealing unannounced games long before their publishers would like them to be. Amazon France seems to have done just that, according to GameBlog.fr. GameBlog took a screencap of the above product listing before stating that title was changed to “Call of Duty 9” and then delisted altogether.
Soon after GameBlog updated its story claiming that Activision France demanded the news be taken down from the site, and when GameBlog did not comply it was subsequently blacklisted, the full details of which can be read here. GameBlog also reveals (through archived screencaps) that a number of other game sites did pull down news reports regarding Black Ops 2, allegedly at the behest of Activision PR.
Activision has already admitted that Treyarch was working on this year’s iteration of Call of Duty. Treyarch has also never been one to innovate on its own, so it makes sense that they would follow in Infinity Ward’s footsteps and try to make Black Ops a franchise-within-a-franchise a la Modern Warfare.
BlackOps2Game.com recently reported that Activision stealth-acquired BlackOps2.com, further pointing to confirmation that the title is indeed in the works.
Last but not least is the mention of Call of Duty Black Ops 2 on a a Nerve Software artist’s public LinkedIn page. It has since been taken down, but the internet never forgets:
Nerve Software has previously worked with Treyarch on Quantam of Solace and the original Call of Duty: Black Ops. Oops!
We’ve reached out to Activision for comment and will update the story if they choose to reply.
Update (2/19): Step3, an external PR firm that frequently works for Activision in the U.S., commented to GamesBeat on behalf of the company: “Activision doesn’t blacklist journalists. We believe this was a misunderstanding and are working towards a resolution”. No comment was made regarding Black Ops 2.