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Call of Duty ARG continues with more Cold War teasing, but no reveal yet

(Image credit: Activision)
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Earlier this week we said that a Call of Duty: Black Ops - Cold War (opens in new tab) ARG was teasing an upcoming reveal for the next game in the series, leaked long ago as Black Ops – Cold War, that was set to happen today. But with the big day here, it appears that what we're really getting, sorry to say, is more ARG.

The first change came before 12 pm ET, with the appearance of a sticky note on the television at pawntakespawn.tv (opens in new tab), with the world "tangledweb" on it. That led to a different image of a typewritten message, rambling about tactics, codes, and a plot "decades in the making [that] will not be unraveled overnight."

(Image credit: Activision)

"While some battles can be won swiftly, others will take days to unfold," it says. "You have found the first piece of many. Relish the journey. It's all part of the game."

That sounded alarmingly like more of this nonsense was on the way, and sure enough, when noon hit—well, first the site crashed, because of course it did, so actually it was about 12:20—another word appeared on the sticky note, EMC2, which now leads to this:

(Image credit: Activision)

Clicking the videotape that's sitting on the VCR back on the primary site starts a video that plays through several clips from the 1960s, focusing largely on the Cuban missile crisis. There are also mentions of Kennedy's inauguration, the Laotian civil war, the erection of the Berlin Wall, the Space Race, the fight for civil rights, and more—all central moments in the Cold War. 

Several minutes into the video, the number "37" briefly flashes on the screen, and then a little later an odd message, "wz-h6-49285 163," appears on the VCR display. Redditors (opens in new tab) quickly figured out that it corresponds to a location in Call of Duty: Warzone, and soon discovered that a secret room had been added to the game. Efforts to figure out the next steps are continuing.

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Also very interesting, I think, is that while the almost the entire video is focused on the Cuban Missile crisis and events in the US, it makes a sudden change in direction at the very end, though, with a reference to China's invasion of India in 1962, which touched off the Sino-Indian War. 

And that, for the moment, is where we stand.

I won't presume to speak for everyone, but personally I find all of this kind of tiresome. I'm sure there's an audience for this sort of thing—witness the effort that went into discovering the pawntakespawn.tv website (opens in new tab) in the first place—but at some point you need to just announce your damn game, especially when it's already been leaked at least twice (opens in new tab), going all the way back to the start of summer. Remember that irritating, overlong Overwatch ARG (opens in new tab) from a few years ago? Yeah, nobody wants to do that again.

At some point, Call of Duty: Black Ops – Cold War (or, you know, whatever it ends up being called) will be officially unveiled—going by the progress on the sticky note above, we're hopeful it'll happen on August 19, although might also be just the next stage of the ARG. We'll let you know what happens.

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.