Activision accidentally announces 'large-scale' Call of Duty zombies mode, then pretends it hasn't

Cold War Firebase Z Easter egg
(Image credit: Treyarch)

Update: Activision has now officially confirmed the existence of Outbreak, which is coming next week when Season Two starts.

Original story: Call Of Duty: Black Ops - Cold War is  getting a massive new zombies mode called Outbreak, after Activision seemingly jumped the gun in announcing the mode, before quickly trying to pretend nothing had happened.

Mentions of a long-rumoured mode called Outbreak were spotted by several fans on the game's app and website, teasing an (unwatchable) trailer: "Welcome to Outbreak," reads the blurb, "a new, large-scale zombie experience." Twitter user Okami noted that the ads stayed up for 30 minutes before being pulled—but not before folks were able to screenshot the page.

We've contacted Activision to ask about the leaks, and will update with any response.

These ads follow a steady trickle of undead easter eggs in Call Of Duty: Warzone, including a trial machine from zombies showing up in Verdansk and some unsettling new screen distortions. Some players are also convinced that a cargo ship off Rebirth Island contains Nova 6, the chemical weapon featured in the first Black Ops zombies mode.

Whether Outbreak is coming to Warzone outright, or simply being used as cross-promotion for Cold War's zombies event, the scale of Call Of Duty's undead challenges is clearly about to ramp up. Whatever form it takes we'll find out soon—Season 2 of Cold War and Warzone kicks off next Thursday, February 25th, which seems likely to be when Outbreak will appear.

Treyarch, meanwhile, has been teasing cryptic peeks at the next Zombies map over on Twitter. We catch a brief glimpse of a new map in the Ural Mountains, along with hints of a "large" breach that may or may not have something to do with Outbreak. Warzone, meanwhile, may be preparing a trip to Laos for its next season of battle royale.

Natalie Clayton
Features Producer

20 years ago, Nat played Jet Set Radio Future for the first time, and she's not stopped thinking about games since. Joining PC Gamer in 2020, she comes from three years of freelance reporting at Rock Paper Shotgun, Waypoint, VG247 and more. Embedded in the European indie scene and a part-time game developer herself, Nat is always looking for a new curiosity to scream about—whether it's the next best indie darling, or simply someone modding a Scotmid into Black Mesa. She also unofficially appears in Apex Legends under the pseudonym Horizon.