Activision formally unveiled Call of Duty: Vanguard yesterday, and though it’s certainly an occasion for the series and its fans to be excited about, something that cannot be ignored that Activision Blizzard the company has been under a lot of fire recently, thanks to a recent lawsuit filed against it on the grounds of prolonged and widespread harassment and discrimination against employees. And it seems that Activision could be taking steps to distance the Call of Duty and Activision brands, perhaps in an effort to avoid any potential commercial impact the controversy could have on the shooter’s sales.
As first reported by VGC, interestingly enough, the game’s reveal trailer, which debuted yesterday, has no mentions of Activision whatsoever. While the company’s name can, of course, be spotted in the copyright small print, that is a legal requirement. Everywhere else, it seems to have been omitted, with the trailer beginning with “Call of Duty Presents” instead of “Activision Presents”, and the final title card only bearing logos for developer Sledgehammer Games, Zombies lead Treyarch, and support studio Beenox, with the Activision logo nowhere to be spotted.
Neither of those things are the norm for Call of Duty reveal trailers. Of course, there’s been no official word from Activision regarding this change, and given the context of the situation, it’s unlikely there will be. That said, it doesn’t come as too much of a surprise, given the nature of the controversy the company finds itself in.
Following Activision Blizzard’s unsatisfactory initial responses to the lawsuit, employees banded together to voice their displeasure in a formal letter written to the management, which was followed by a walkout. Activision CEO Bobby Kotick soon apologized for the company’s response, and promptly claimed that people found guilty of the alleged actions would be held accountable. That was followed by several high-level Blizzard employees being let go, including J. Allen Brack, who stepped down as president of the company.
Employees of Activision Blizzard still remain disgruntled with the company, however, owing to its choice of notorious Union-busting law firm WilmerHale for investigations of misconduct, and their inadequate responses to the situation at large. You can read more about the Activision Blizzard situation through here.
Call of Duty: Vanguard launches on November 5 for PS5, Xbox Series X/S, PS4, Xbox One, and PC.