Activision Blizzard has begun teasing the next big Call of Duty game under the shadow cast by the recently-filed discrimination lawsuit.
Yesterday, as Activision Blizzard executives such as boss Bobby Kotick insisted "we will be the company that sets the example for this in our industry" during a financial call aimed at the investor community, a coalition of workers from across multiple Activision Blizzard studios criticised the decision to hire WilmerHale, the same law firm helping Amazon keep its workers from unionising, to review the company.
As reported by IGN, the employees, collectively called the ABK Workers Alliance, said Kotick did not "meaningfully address" workers' demands following last week's high-profile employee walkout.
With Activision Blizzard also facing a second lawsuit over the first lawsuit alleging the company purposefully misled investors with false statements, the exit of Blizzard president J. Allen Brack and head of HR, Jesse Meschuk, from the World of Warcraft maker, abuse allegations have overshadowed updates issued to cash cow Call of Duty.
Activision Blizzard studios' social media accounts had gone silent for a number of days following the emergence of the discrimination lawsuit, but they recently kicked back into gear. And last night, the official Call of Duty Twitter account issued the first image relating to Season Five of Black Ops Cold War and Warzone, which goes live on 12th August.
The image has been dissected by fans, and found to include a tease for Call of Duty WW2: Vanguard, due out later this year and developed primarily by Sledgehammer Games.
Activision Blizzard has also released a cinematic for Season Five, which looks like it carries a hacker theme (the irony is not lost on the Warzone community).
And yesterday, Modern Warfare and Warzone finally got the Soap operator, the CX-9 SMG, and the RAAL LMG in a bundle that hit the games without announcement from either Infinity Ward or Raven Software.
Activision Blizzard's under fire executives talked up Call of Duty during last night's financial call, with president and chief operating officer Daniel Alegre confirming this year's game will release on both last-generation and current-generation consoles with a "seamless" experience for all players. As expected, Activision's studios are working to integrate Vanguard into Warzone.
Activision president Rob Kostich also said the company has created its own internal mobile studio to work on an unnanounced Call of Duty mobile game, with support from Beenox and Activision Shanghai.
Vanguard has yet to be announced - and it's only a few months from release. Meanwhile, Activision Blizzard must now either respond to the lawsuit's claims within 30 days of it being served, or question a procedural aspect of the case. If a judge lets the case proceed, we're looking at the discovery process before the judge decides if the case warrants going to trial.