The year has only just begun and we’re already talking about Infinity Ward’s take on Call of Duty for 2019. Are we getting a sequel to Ghosts or Modern Warfare 4?
2019 marks Infinity Ward’s turn in the Call of Duty development cycle. While we’re just a few months removed from the release of Treyarch’s critically acclaimed Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, it seems that some over at Infinity Ward are excited about this year’s installment.
Kicking off the New Year, Infinity Ward community manager Ashton Williams has posted a very intriguing gif which could be teasing this year’s Call of Duty title. With absolutely no caption to go along with it, Williams posted a gif of a skull with glowing eyes.
Now before we begin with our speculation, it’s important to note that neither the official Infinity Ward and Call of Duty social media channels have posted anything even remotely close to a teaser for 2019’s inevitable entry to the series. Activision, most likely, is still banking on gamers playing Black Ops 4 so it’s understandable that they wouldn’t post such a thing.
But an Infinity Ward community manager? Why post this if it’s not a teaser? Clearly, the intention here is to drum up speculation and build hype towards whatever Infinity Ward’s next Call of Duty game will be. I’ll bite.
My immediate reaction following the post was that Infinity Ward is working on a sequel to Call of Duty: Ghosts. After all, a skull is symbolic of the “Masked Warriors” from Ghosts.
The 2013 game, which marked the series jump to current-gen consoles (PS4 and Xbox One), was generally well-received. However, most of the praise was directed towards the multiplayer gameplay while Ghosts was criticized for its formulaic campaign and lackluster story.
Aside from the skull symbol though, there’s another feature about the gif that has me thinking it could be a sequel. The static glitch effect and the overall nature of the skull’s design has me thinking that it could be some sort of brainwashing tool, which would tie in quite nicely to the ending of the first game.
If you recall, the campaign in Call of Duty: Ghosts ended Logan with Logan being dragged away by Rorke, the man the Federation brainwashed to hunt down the Ghosts. A post-credits scene showed Logan being kept a prisoner in some sort of jungle pit, presumably subject to the same torture techniques that originally brainwashed Rorke. Theoretically, a sequel could further explore this and show a brainwashed Logan hunting down his brother Hesh.
That being said, a Call of Duty: Ghosts sequel would be an odd direction for Infinity Ward to go, especially since Activision has seemingly moved away from single-player campaigns in Call of Duty. Treyarch completely ditched a standard campaign with Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 and while fans expressed disappointment initially, the game’s multiplayer – which added Blackout – more than made up for the lack of a story.
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The move away from a traditional campaign had seemingly no impact on review scores or sales, as Black Ops 4 grossed $500 million in worldwide retail sales in just its first three days. So could Activision allow Infinity Ward to explore a traditional campaign story again? Sure, but why at this point? Consumers have already shown it doesn’t matter to them.
Many fans have taken to the tweet in hopes that this is a teaser for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 4, which most rumors have actually pointed to up until now. It’s entirely possible that Williams is referencing Lieutenant Simon “Ghost” Riley, but he (spoiler) died nearly ten years ago in Modern Warfare 2, so this just seems like too much of a stretch for me. Plus, I feel like Activision would prefer to save Modern Warfare for next-gen consoles as a way to boost potential sales.
Of course, it’s also entirely possible that this isn’t a teaser for Infinity Ward’s Call of Duty and that I’m looking incredibly too far into this. But that begs the question, why would Williams post anything at all if that were the case? If Infinity Ward is simply looking to drum up excitement heading into the new year, well then congratulations.
Do you think the teaser from Williams is a hint at Call of Duty: Ghosts, Modern Warfare 4 or something else entirely?