Black Ops Cold War Won’t Be Set In The 60s

If you made it past the headline, congratulations! We applaud your inquisitive nature. Given what Treyarch and Activision have done for marketing Black Ops that will serve you well. Earlier this week, gamers reached the end of the alternate reality game, pawn takes pawn, and discovered a teaser trailer for Call of Duty Black Ops: Cold War. The trailer promises a worldwide reveal for the game on August 26th, however, the end of the alternate reality game was just the beginning of speculation.

Before the famous Activision crates were sent out to prominent YouTubers in the Call of Duty community, Warzone players saw a visual glitch during their games that said, “Know your history” in English and “Doomed to repeat it” in Russian. Of course, we know that the teaser trailer for the game also implores us to know our history. The question for some is, what do the developers mean with that phrase?

On the one hand, we can assume that the game will take place in the 1960s, in the middle of the historical Cold War, and knowledge of the events will help in some way. After all, there is a lot of good story material from that period. You had the Space Race, the Bay of Pigs, the start of the Vietnam war, the Kennedy assassination, etc—all linked to CIA and KGB actions in one way or another. On the other hand, we can assume that knowledge of the historical Cold War will help prevent similar situations in the future. Redditor u/slvrms was one person who speculated that Treyarch was not sending us back in time, but was instead going to tie Cold War into Modern Warfare.

Pawn takes pawn evidence

There is strong evidence to suggest that Cold War will not be set in the past. First, we have the alternate reality game, pawn takes pawn. In that game, we were given six different VHS tapes that covered different periods of history—from 1961 to 1981. The culmination of the ARG was the teaser which included an interview from 1984.  Historically speaking, the Cold War “ended” around 1990 with the collapse of the Soviet Union. It seems strange that Treyarch we continually pull us forward in time—toward the end of the Cold War—with their videos if this were meant to be a period piece. That’s to say nothing of the bunkers in Warzone, which we will get to shortly.

Modern Warfare evidence

Throughout the campaign for Modern Warfare, part of the story’s conflict is the fact that American agents can’t be seen openly fighting the Russians, because the United States and Russia aren’t officially at war. Additionally, the fictional conflict in Urzikstan very closely resembles the Soviet-Afghan proxy war of the 80s and 90s. If that weren’t enough, Captain Price is working very closely with Laswell, a CIA handler, and suggests—multiple times—that she let him conduct “black ops” around the world.

Warzone bunkers

The six bunkers on Warzone were discovered thanks to the game pawn takes pawn. The first four were run of the mill, with a bust of Vladimir Lenin in one, an RC-XD in another, and very old-looking machines in all of them. Exactly what you would expect if this were set in the 1960s. However, the last two stood out. Day five’s bunker had a picture of Modern Warfare character Farah Karim. Day six had an even bigger bombshell when a picture of Captain Price was found inside.


Activision has said that they are not going to get rid of Warzone and that it would be playable through Black Ops. If that is the case, the question is, how can you connect the two if one of them is set 60 years in the past? Beyond that, if Black Ops were going to be set in the 1960s, why were the pictures of modern characters in the bunkers promoting the game? These are questions that don’t have answers yet. Perhaps all of this is misdirection by the developers, a clever ruse to keep us chasing a ghost. All we know is, we will be eagerly awaiting the 26th, and studying our history.

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