There have been lots of goings on in the Call of Duty universe recently, including the annual Call of Duty Championship, the release of Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare's Ascendance DLC and the reveal that the series has sold over 175 million units during its lifetime. We also know that publisher Activision and this year's Call of Duty developer, Treyarch, are gearing up to the announcement of the latest game in the series.
There has been a lot of speculation that Treyarch is working on Call of Duty: Black Ops 3. The rumors started flying when games industry analysts SuperData released a report and name-dropped Resident Evil 7 and Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 as two games that would be released later this year. The group soon explained that "it stands to reason" that Black Ops 3 is on the way since Treyarch made Black Ops 2 in 2012, but many fans felt that SuperData was merely backtracking on information it should not have revealed to the public.
Now, Call of Duty players have their first confirmation that some sort of Black Ops announcement is on the way. Yesterday, a new update was rolled out to Call of Duty: Blacks Ops 2 on consoles. While it's unclear what sort of gameplay tweaks it included, the patch introduced an odd-looking ghost icon to the posters in various Black Ops 2 multiplayer maps. That ghost is the logo of Snapchat, and if players scan that symbol from the in-game poster with their mobile device, they automatically add the Call of Duty account on the image-sharing platform (the handle is just 'callofduty').
The Call of Duty Snapchat has also uploaded a short teaser video to its 'Story'. The video features a close-up of a blinking eye, then a forest with light streaming through the trees as a man tells viewers to "listen only to the sound of my voice." Finally, the video shows a lone tree in the snow. The footage is vague, but the fact that there are three bars of light on the ground at one point could be another hint towards Call of Duty: Black Ops 3.
If Black Ops 3 is on the way, then Activision may be using Snapchat as part of a viral marketing campaign. In the past, Activision has worked with Academy Award winning actors and the publisher has also released TV promos featuring Hollywood's brightest. As Call of Duty's sales are decreasing, it's possible that they want to take a different approach to marketing this time around.
The next Call of Duty game will most likely be announced in May. We'll keep our eyes peeled for any more information on the project.
Should the next game to be Call of Duty: Black Ops 3? What does the franchise need to stay fresh? Let us know in the comments below.