Hold on to something, folks: The sequel to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 will almost certainly be Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. A fresh leak—via your friends and mine at Monster Energy—has revealed the game's name, branding, and mutton-chop-with-a-man-attached Captain Price, absolutely none of which should come as a surprise to anyone. In fact, the existence of MW3 has become so obvious that even COD's developers are getting in on the joke on Twitter.
🚨 BREAKING: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III Logo Leaked(image via @algebra_sloth) pic.twitter.com/loEIptydTiJuly 24, 2023
Originally shared by a Twitter user who has now deleted the tweet, the photos above appear to show official Monster Energy boxes branded with the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 name, and also seem to indicate that you'll be able to get some sort of skin for the game if you participate in whatever advertising deal Activision and Monster have cooked up between them. If you zoom in on the fine print, you can see the promotion is stated to last from September 1 to December 31 this year.
Oh, and that QR code just takes you to the Monster Energy website, at least for now.
Book 'em, Danno. This case is closed. The next COD will very likely be MW3; an energy drink vision confirmed it to me. The mystery is so demystified that COD's official Twitter account put out a cheeky tweet after the leaks started making the rounds, remarking "Whew. Mondays. Anyone have an energy drink they can spare?"
Whew. Mondays. Anyone have an energy drink they can spare?July 24, 2023
The account then went on to respond with the eyes emoji—in time-honoured 'brand on Twitter' fashion—to everyone pointing out the connection between that tweet and the Monster Energy leaks.
Meanwhile, Sledgehammer Games—reported to be the developer behind this year's COD— updated its Twitter account header to feature three red lines very much in the style of the 3 on the Monster Energy branding. It feels a bit absurd to obsessively theorycraft about this kind of thing when it's already patently obvious to anyone paying attention, but there's a bit more evidence for you if you needed it.
That there's going to be a new Call of Duty game in the year 2023 isn't news: Activision has made no secret of an upcoming "full annual premium release" in the series in its communications this year. But it has been coy about what that release will be, only ever referring to it as "Call of Duty 2023".
As time has worn on, though, it's become ever-more obvious that this year's COD will be some kind of direct follow-on to MW2: The official Twitter was out there all-but-confirming you'd be able to take your purchased bundles with you into 2023's game last week. With how obvious all this stuff now is, someone should probably officially announce this game already.