Real-world history has been the bedrock of Activision’s marketing strategy for the upcoming Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War–its trailer featured several clips from major historical events like the Vietnam War, civil rights marches, and the tank man from the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests. That trailer, which released last week, was removed and replaced with a shorter one without the Tiananmen Square footage earlier this week.
According to the South China Morning Post, the second-long bit of Beijing protest footage was replaced with a black screen or other footage on local Chinese platforms like Bilibili. Activision replaced the original two-minute long trailer worldwide with a video half as long without the protest footage soon after.
The trailer, which is based around a 1984 interview with former Soviet KGB informant and defector Yuri Bezmenov, only showed seconds of the Beijing protests but that was enough to get internet commentators buzzing. You can still see the original video on YouTube, but it’s no longer posted on official Activision channels.
The South China Morning Post, as well as other publications from the region, say that the crackdown following the Tiananmen protests “remains a taboo topic in mainland China.” Call of Duty fans have even expressed concerns that the game could be banned in China following the trailer.
Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War was officially revealed today with a special event within Call of Duty: Warzone. Players had to find map key codes, traverse the map, and eventually find an NPC tucked away in order to unlock special rewards. The event ended as a nuke was about to go off in Verdansk. A trailer for the new game played before we could see the explosion happen in-game.
Despite the political nature of everything the studio has posted about the game thus far, Treyarch has maintained it isn’t trying “to make any political statement of any kind” with Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War.
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