The first real teaser for Call of Duty: Black Ops III was released yesterday, depicting a slow slide into a future where augmented humans wage war under the cover of darkness. Some fans noted a similarity to another recent sequel unveiling — and it seems that the developers of that title did, too.
While last year’s Advanced Warfare established the presence of future tech in the Call of Duty franchise, it looks like the Black Ops sub-series will explore classified use of genetically modified super-soldiers. All in all, it doesn’t sound a million miles away from the subject matter of Deus Ex: Mankind Divided.
In fact, the Black Ops III trailer shows us a few flashes of rioting sparked by conflict between humans and their augmented brethren. We already know that the issue is central to the new Deus Ex, so it will be interesting to see how the two games tackle the same subject matter.
The official Deus Ex Twitter account was quick to comment on the similarities, posting a humorous image of a cat:
Jonathan Jacques-Belletête, the art designer on Mankind Divided, also made his feelings known. He told Treyarch that Deus Ex protagonist Adam Jensen welcomes them to the ‘bandwagon’, as well as poking fun at the shift in time periods for Call of Duty with the suggestion that Mankind Divided would be set during World War II.
While these tweets are likely all in good humor, there must be a kernel of truth to the comments from Belletête and the Deus Ex Twitter account. The AAA scene is notoriously competitive, and the thought of one of the biggest franchises in gaming tackling a similar plot and setting will undoubtedly prompt some anxiety at Eidos Montreal.
Deus Ex: Human Revolution exceeded sales expectations back in 2011 — but it launched at the end of the summer, a traditionally dry spell for big releases. Its success will perhaps prompt Mankind Divided to aim for a different launch window, where it might face stiffer competition.
If nothing else, the reaction from Eidos Montreal confirms that we shouldn’t expect Mankind Divided to launch ahead of Black Ops III. If Deus Ex were to beat Call of Duty to release, there likely wouldn’t be any concern on their end about the similarity of the products.
All this being said, there isn’t all too much to worry about in terms of Mankind Divided finding its audience. The Deus Ex series is one of the most critically revered in all of video games, and the new title looks set to build on its excellent predecessor. Still, it’s always entertaining to see rival studios take a swing at one another via social media.
Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is set to release for Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC. A release date has not yet been announced.