When one thinks of the most iconic multiplayer maps in gaming history, there are a few that immediately spring to mind. Facility in GoldenEye 007. Gold Rush in Team Fortress 2. Halo 2’s Lockout. Counter-Strike’s Dust.
And, of course, Nuketown. First introduced in Call of Duty: Black Ops, Nuketown is one of the smallest, yet most purely entertaining Call of Duty maps ever made. Its simple design proved so popular with Call of Duty fans that it made an encore appearance in Black Ops 2. If Nuketown’s not the most popular multiplayer map of all time, it’s certainly up there.
Now, it appears that Nuketown will appear once more in Call of Duty: Black Ops 3. A fan on Twitter sent Treyarch’s David Vonderhaar, the company’s studio design director, a picture of Nuketown, along with the caption, “Gone but not forgotten.” Vonderhaar replied to the fan’s Tweet with a simple tease: “Says who.”
Vonderhaar could just be having fun with a fan, or this could be an implicit confirmation that Nuketown will return in Black Ops 3. After all, Nuketown appeared in both of the previous Black Ops games, and considering its immense popularity, there’s no reason not to continue the tradition in the series’ next installment.
Activision has a history of recycling fan-favorite Call of Duty maps when releasing new games in the series. In fact, the publisher just announced that the popular Highrise map from Modern Warfare 2 will be included in Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare‘s upcoming Supremacy DLC.
E3 2015 is just a few weeks away, and Black Ops 3 will definitely be one of the biggest games at the show. It’s possible that Nuketown’s return will be confirmed during the event, and fans may also learn in what capacity the map will be available. After all, the remade Nuketown map in Black Ops 2, Nuketown 2025, was originally a pre-order bonus; the third iteration of Nuketown could be a pre-order incentive, platform-exclusive DLC, or something else entirely.
Fans might have a chance to play the recreated Nuketown map, if it exists, during Black Ops 3’s open beta, which is rumored to begin in August. To gain beta access, players need to pre-order the game. More concrete details about the beta are expected soon, probably around E3.
Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 will be available November 6, 2015 for PC, PS4, and Xbox One. Last-gen and Wii U versions of the game are rumored as well.