Call of Duty: Black Ops 6 will not depict 9/11, Treyarch confirms

Call of Duty: Black Ops 6 screenshot
(Image credit: Activision)

Treyarch has shot down speculation that Call of Duty: Black Ops 6 will depict the September 11, 2001 attack on the US.

Rumors of a possible depiction of the 9/11 attacks began to swirl shortly after Activision began teasing Black Ops 6. One live-action pre-release trailer in particular focuses heavily on prominent political leaders from the 1990s including George W Bush, Bill Clinton, Margaret Thatcher, and perhaps most notably Saddam Hussein. 

Historically it doesn't really fit—the Gulf War preceded the attack by a full decade—but there's enough connective tissue between 1990 and 2001 (and, let's be honest, to this very day) to make its presence seem possible as a No Russian-style "big moment."

Asked about it during a Q&A session on Sunday, Treyarch confirmed that it's not going to happen. "No," Treyarch director of production Yale Miller said. "That's a rumor."

"Black Ops 6, like every other Black Ops game, is purely fictional," associate design director Matt Scronce added, explaining that the series has "historical touch points" to give the games context but isn't a direct lift from history.

"In true Black Ops fashion, it's not what's happening up here—'the stock market's going crazy and everything's great'—because we actually know, not everything's great. And it's about Black Ops and the team, what's happening underground and behind the scenes and the stuff that nobody's really talking about. But always, it's purely a fictional story."

Emphasizing the fictional nature of that story, Miller said that while the Gulf War will be "part of it," there will be more going on, not all of it based on reality. "There's conflict on US soil, there's different [events] in Avalon, which is a made-city. There's lots of different places where you go."

I have little doubt that 9/11, like the Gulf War, will someday serve as videogame fodder: Given the faux-historical setup of Black Ops 6, and the addition of a few more years piled onto the acceptability buffer, I would not be even slightly surprised to see the event figure prominently in Black Ops 7, or whatever it ends up being called. For Black Ops 6, though, it's still a little too soon.

Call of Duty: Black Ops 6 is set to launch on October 24, and yes, it will be on Steam.

Andy Chalk

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.

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