Call of Duty publisher Activision has responded to the question of why – in the middle of a lawsuit alleging years of discrimination and harassment at the company, of which there’s a summary of below – it chose to remove itself from Call of Duty: Vanguard announcement trailer this week, calling the decision “a creative choice”.
The existence of Call of Duty: Vanguard was leaked all the way back in March, and after a steady string of believable rumours and spot-on predictions the latest game in Activision’s star FPS franchise was finally revealed last week – but fans immediately noticed that something was off with the announcement trailer.
The name ‘Activision’ is conspicuously absent from the entire trailer, which begins with “Call of Duty presents” followed by “a Sledgehammer Games production”. The publisher is even absent from the logos at the end of the video – as evidenced by the Black Ops: Cold War reveal trailer from last year, which clearly featured Activision on the left and the developers on the right. In Vanguard’s, Sledgehammer takes Activision’s place.
After this was reported, former Kotaku editor-in-chief Stephen Totilo spoke to Activision about this curious detail. According to Activision, the publisher removing its own name was “a creative choice that reflects how Vanguard represents the next major installment in the franchise.”
I asked Activision about the logo's absence, a change from other CoD reveals.
Their PR: "Call of Duty has continued to expand into an incredible universe of experiences. This was a creative choice that reflects how Vanguard represents the next major installment in the franchise” https://t.co/12PPrXRFcY
— Stephen Totilo (@stephentotilo) August 20, 2021
The full trailer can be seen below. Call of Duty: Vanguard currently has a release date of November 5.
Activision Blizzard is facing a lawsuit filed in July by the state of California alleging years of discrimination and harassment. Since then, CEO Bobby Kotick has called the company’s initial response “tone deaf”, employees have staged a walkout, Blizzard president J Allen Brack has left, and the ABK Workers Alliance has demanded change at the company. The lawsuit is ongoing; follow the latest developments here.