The Call of Duty ARG that started with a bunch of mysterious black crates has finally been solved, revealing a quick teaser and confirming that Treyarch’s upcoming game is indeed Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War. The ominous teaser doesn’t reveal any gameplay just yet, but promises a full reveal to come August 26. More curious still, the trailer’s description reads “Know your history or be doomed to repeat it. Verdansk. August 26” which seems to suggest an in-game reveal for Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War within Warzone, something that was previously reported on as a rumor.
You can check out the full teaser trailer below:
The man talking in the video is KGB defector Yuri Bezmenov, who spoke on Soviet spies infiltrating Western intelligence and subverting US democracy in order to ensure the success of the Soviets within the nuclear arms race. His remarks go over demoralizing the country, destabilizing the economy, foreign relations, and defense systems, and crisis through “violent changes of power, structure, and economy.” And then the the normalization of that new regime.
We then receive some potential hints about the story for Black Ops Cold War. “Inspired by actual events.” “A plan decades in the making.” “Know your history or be doomed to repeat it.”
The end says “Worldwide Reveal August 26th,” but doesn’t give any additional details about the time. Judging by the description of the video, we can assume that the reveal will happen as a live event in Warzone, which takes place on the Verdansk map. The Season Five roadmap for Modern Warfare and Warzone promised a big “mid-season event,” which is most likely this upcoming reveal.
The ARG was an enormous community effort, starting with slide projectors that were sent to media and influencers which eventually led players into the Summit map in Black Ops 4, to a famous Soviet-era chess game called “Bish you were here,” and eventually to a website, PawnTakesPawn.tv. Eventually that site started giving players tapes full of Cold War-era broadcasts, interspersed with numbers and codes that opened locked doors inside of Warzone. Over the course of six days, the tapes were updated, and more and more numbers and pieces of the ciphers were doled out, though this six-day period was let down a little bit by relevant files being datamined early on.
Finally, today, with all of the updated tapes and cipher keys in hand, the community set to work solving the puzzle. Each of the six ciphers hidden in Warzone revealed a random string of letters. Treyarch used the PawnTakesPawn site to nudge the community on with new clues, eventually leading them to realize that the numbers on the tapes were put out five seconds apart from each other. As they coordinated the random letters with the tapes that the ciphers came from, a message started to form. “A cold war isn’t fought on a battlefield the time bomb is ticking with every second the disaster is edging closer and closer the danger is real.” But what to do next?
Streamer Geeky Pastimes and his community figured out that there were unused letters in between the message. Reading between the lines, he discovered the message “slash play the game find the truth.” When entering that term as a subpage on PawnTakesPawn, it opened up PawnTakesPawn/playthegamefindthetruth, which held the teaser video above. Geeky Pastimes’ discovery was then spread to the rest of the community, who were also racing to solve the ARG’s secrets. He also shared his spreadsheet where he was working out the message and discovered the URL.
Here’s how we solved the Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War Reveal puzzle on PawnTakesPawn https://t.co/TVo7y1E60h Please RT so people can see how we did it! @charlieINTEL @NoahJ456 @MrDalekJD @PrestigeIsKey
— Geeky Pastimes (@geekypastimes) August 19, 2020
What comes next is anyone’s guess, but today’s unlocked bunker in Warzone did reveal a missile lying underneath Verdansk. Treyarch didn’t reveal exactly when you’ll want to be in Warzone on August 26th, but it seems pretty certain that’s where the initial reveal will take place before being picked up by various sites. If it matches up with the past few week’s worth of reveals on PawnTakesPawn, then something will probably happen around 9 am PST/12 pm EST. If you aren’t able to log into Warzone that morning to check it out yourself, we’ll be reporting on everything happening one week from today.
With a staggering 75 million players, and already confirmed to evolve and be tied into Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War, the free-to-play Warzone is the perfect stage to reveal the next game on in a unique new way that’s never been done before.
Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War is expected to launch later this year, though platforms, release date, and additional details are unknown at this time. Stay tuned for the August 26th reveal.