A symbol used in a Call of Duty: Warzone emblem bears a striking resemblance to a symbol adopted by neo-Nazi groups. Specifically, the CoD symbol in question appears to be directly inspired by a logo used by the Azov Battalion, a far-right nationalist regiment of the Ukrainian national guard originally formed in the early months of the Russo-Ukrainian war in 2014.
The emblem in question comes from the Chimera Pack, an ~$11 bundle of cosmetics that has been in the game since at least early 2020. Like many Warzone emblems, this one plays an animated loop that shows a winged creature fading into view in front of the purple/yellow symbol. The emblem's significance was first pointed out by a user on Warzone's official subreddit yesterday.
On the left is the Chimera emblem from Warzone (without the creature itself perched in the foreground) and on the right is an Azov Battalion logo.
The symbol common to both emblems is a modern version of the Wolfsangel, a centuries-old Germanic symbol widely adopted by the Nazi party during World War 2, notably including Hitler's 2nd SS Panzer Division, among others. The symbol was subsequently adopted by neo-Nazi groups, such as the Aryan Nations.
In Warzone, Chimera is a fictional PMC started by Modern Warfare character Nikolai, a Russian weapons trader who works with the campaign's main characters to bring down a terrorist organization. Chimera itself isn't associated with any one nation, though one of its members, the playable operator Yegor, is Ukrainian. Yegor is one of three operators that receive a unique outfit when you buy the Chimera Pack, though he's the only one who doesn't sport the symbol itself on his uniform.
As the original Reddit post points out, the Warzone emblem uses the same color scheme as the Azov Battalion symbol, just with the colors swapped. Scouring the internet, I can't find any version of the Wolfsangel symbol with a purple and yellow scheme other than the Azov Battalion. The resemblance is hard to deny.
So, why the Wolfsangel? Symbols such as Swastikas often appear in World War 2 games to designate actual Nazis, but Chimera is a band of anti-heroes including the main protagonist of Modern Warfare 2019's campaign, Farah Karim. It's possible the symbol was used by mistake. In 2017, Bungie removed a gauntlet from Destiny 2 that resembled an alt-right flag, explaining that the similarity was an accident.
Because of how Warzone's in-game store works, you probably aren't able to find or purchase the Chimera pack right now. Cosmetic packs cycle in and out of the store on a weekly basis based on manual curation by developers and personalized recommendations. Only those who bought it when it first came out or see it randomly cycle back into the store can access it.
We've reached out to Activision for a comment on the Chimera symbol and will update this article if we learn more.
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Morgan has been writing for PC Gamer since 2018, first as a freelancer and currently as a staff writer. He has also appeared on Polygon, Kotaku, Fanbyte, and PCGamesN. Before freelancing, he spent most of high school and all of college writing at small gaming sites that didn't pay him. He's very happy to have a real job now. Morgan is a beat writer following the latest and greatest shooters and the communities that play them. He also writes general news, reviews, features, the occasional guide, and bad jokes in Slack. Twist his arm, and he'll even write about a boring strategy game. Please don't, though.