With Infinity Ward on deck to follow next week’s Black Ops II from Treyarch in 2013 – the rotating developer dichotomy has produced annual Call of Duty iterations since 2005’s Call of Duty 2 – it wouldn’t be shocking for the developer to announce yet another continuation in the Modern Warfare series with Modern Warfare 4.
Sure, anyone who witnessed the conclusion of Modern Warfare 3 is familiar with the… finality the storyline seemed to end with. But the series has been Infinity Ward’s record-breaking baby ever since its debut in 2007. Sometimes it’s hard to let go. Just look at the brewing dispute over last week’s report of a Modern Warfare 4 leak.
It was only a few days ago that Bill Murray, the sorry-not-the-Ghostbusters-Bill-Murray voice actor behind Modern Warfare’s iconic Captain Price, allegedly revealed to ThisIsXbox’s Jason Andrews that he was working with Infinity Ward on Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 4. The two had a chance encounter on a London-bound flight, and after Andrews acknowledged recognizing Murray by his trademark guttural voice, the actor reportedly burst out this bombshell:
“Yeah, on Monday I am off to meet Infinity Ward about the next game, Modern Warfare 4, I’m doing work on the sequel to Modern Warfare 3, it carries straight on and I only ever appear in the Modern Warfare games…”
It wouldn’t have been the first time an actor outed work on a video game project – but now Murray and Infinity Ward are telling a different story.
In a recent tweet, Murray asserts that the report is “not accurate,” saying, “I told the guy I was doing a special new Modern Warfare for China, not MW4.” He doesn’t fault the writer, but instead credits “confusion” for distorting their airborne discussion:
Referencing a “Modern Warfare for China” gives Murray a viable game to fall back on: the MMO Call of Duty Online being developed for Chinese audiences by Activision partner Tencent. ThisIsXbox, meanwhile, continues to stand by its original story, with Andrews accusing Murray of “ridiculous backtracking.”
Though it’s entirely plausible that Infinity Ward is developing a new Modern Warfare – another report claimed they had tapped Neversoft for Modern Warfare 4 collaboration – they’ve stood by Murray every step of of the way. They refuted ThisIsXbox’s initial story when it surfaced last week, and speaking to Game Rant on Twitter, Senior Infinity Ward Community Manager Tina Palacios even called into question Andrews’s credibility.
Activision will let Call of Duty: Black Ops II will enjoy a long, likely successful run before breaking any news on its 2013 agenda, so it’s almost impossible to side with a single accusation. Perhaps Andrews, in the vagaries of unexpected airplane conversation, misconstrued Murray’s comments and was earnestly reporting what he understood as the truth. Perhaps Murray, in the interest of good employment standing, received a phone call from Activision HQ and is now covering his tracks. We’ll likely never know.
Ranters, what do you think really happened here? Are Infinity Ward and Bill Murray reticently hard at work on Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 4?
Follow Brian on Twitter @Brian_Sipple.