An Xbox Games Showcase is coming in June and it sure looks like the next Call of Duty is going to be there

Teaser image from Xbox Games Showcase 2024 announcement - a three-headed dog laid overtop a US dollar bill, which is 100% teasing a new Black Ops game from Treyarch, you're not fooling anyone
(Image credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft is holding an Xbox Games Showcase in June, which will be its first big online event featuring games from its still-relatively-new crown jewel, Activision Blizzard. It's also teasing a follow-on presentation similar to the Starfield Direct stream in 2023 but focused on an all-new game, and while it's keeping the title of that game under wraps for now, we're pretty sure we know what it is.

First things first, the relevant details: The Xbox Games Showcase will take place on June 9, beginning at 10 am PT/1 pm ET/6 pm BST, and will be livestream on Twitch (and with ASL), YouTube, and Facebook. After the event, there will be a week of "updates and deep-dives on a ton of games" on the Xbox Wire website and the Official Xbox Podcast.

"This will also be our first Showcase featuring games from our portfolio of studios across Activision, Blizzard, Bethesda and Xbox Game Studios, in addition to titles from our third-party partners," Microsoft said.

As for the [Redacted] Direct that will follow the Xbox Games Showcase, Microsoft described it as "a special deep-dive into the next installment of a beloved franchise." It also dropped this image:

(Image credit: Xbox)

It didn't take long for sharp-eyed observers to note that the mystery image sure looks like a three-headed dog, the most famous of which is probably Cerberus, who stands guard at the gates of the Underworld. Cerberus—with just one head, alas—also appears in Zombies maps in Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 and Black Ops 4, and the Cerberus symbol from those games bears more than a passing resemblance to the teaser image shared today.

Cerberus is also the name of a Hound variant—basically a robot tank—that appears in Black Ops 3, and according to an Insider Gaming report it's also the internal codename for the 2024 edition of Call of Duty. 

But wait! There's more! In the reasonably reliable cadence of Call of Duty releases, which sees lead development rotated between Infinity Ward, Sledgehammer, and Treyarch, 2024 is Treyarch's turn, so to speak—Treyarch being the studio that gave us the Black Ops portion of the Call of Duty series that, what a coincidence, features so prominently up above. Let us also recall that Treyarch had been in line to drop a new Call of Duty game in 2023, but that was ultimately delayed to 2024.

A rumor about a return of Black Ops, which was last seen in 2020's Cold War, surfaced in late 2023: A Windows Central report said the new game will be set in the 1990-91 Gulf War, in which a coalition of US-led forces invaded Iraq and toppled the Saddam Hussein regime, which I guess is now far enough in the past that it's okay to make a big-budget videogame about it. Rumors are rumors, but this new tease certainly doesn't seem out of line with that earlier report.

Since we're piling on, I'd say laying that logo overtop a US dollar bill is certainly in tune with a "CIA causing trouble in the Middle East" videogame. And look at this purposely-shoddily-redacted text—try to tell me that doesn't say Black Ops under there.

(Image credit: Microsoft)

You know it does.

Even if the tease isn't exactly subtle, this being Microsoft's first proper spin with Call of Duty—not to mention everything else Activision and Blizzard have on the go—means this will be a very interesting showcase to watch. I wouldn't be at all surprised if further teases are dropped over the next six weeks leading up to the showcase: We'll keep you posted.

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.