The Call of Duty franchise has toyed with controversy in the past, touching on actual geopolitical events and the brutal realities of war, but it seems like the next major CoD game may be taking things a step further. A few weeks back, rumors began to circulate that the 2024 Call of Duty title, developed by Treyarch and likely a continuation of the Black Ops series, would focus on the 1991 US-Iraq Gulf War, but per new rumors, that’s just the beginning.
According to well-established Call of Duty leaker TheGhostofHope, Call of Duty 2024 will also focus on the 2003 Iraq War and occupation as well as “Operation Enduring Freedom,” the codename for the President-Bush-initiated Global War on Terror that continues on to today. Apparently, a mission or missions focused on the Battle of Mogadishu, fictionalized in the movie Black Hawk Down, may also be in the works.
COD2024's campaign will cover ‘Operation Iraqi Freedom’ & ‘Operation Enduring Freedom’. pic.twitter.com/XaOPCYfjSX
— Hope (@TheGhostOfHope) September 2, 2022
COD2024 Campaign will cover "The Battle of Mogadishu" pic.twitter.com/1KVLH1TUwi
— Hope (@TheGhostOfHope) September 8, 2022
Needless to say, Treyarch is potentially stumbling into a real nest of thorns with this subject matter. While Call of Duty has obviously referenced real-world conflicts before, the Iraq War and War on Terror are still fresh in the public’s consciousness, with the justification and fallout of both still being hotly debated.
A recent attempt to make a game based on the Iraq War, Six Days in Fallujah, has been met with significant controversy and backlash. Is it possible to thread the needle on this? Anything’s possible, I suppose. 2013’s acclaimed Spec Ops: The Line was obviously largely inspired by the Iraq War and War on Terror, but it also invented a fictionalized scenario as a vehicle for its commentary.
Call of Duty reportedly won’t be getting a traditional core title in 2023 (although some sort of “premium” content will be coming), so Call of Duty 2024 will be the follow-up to the much-anticipated Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, which releases this year.
Activision Blizzard has faced a series of lawsuits and other legal action on the heels of a suit filed by California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) alleging widespread gender-based discrimination and sexual harassment at the Call of Duty publisher. You can get more details on that unfolding story here.
What do you think? Is the world ready for a Call of Duty focused on the Iraq War and War on Terror? Can Activision be trusted to tackle the subject with any sort of nuance or tact?