The Red Door pops up on the Microsoft Store, points to Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War internal alpha
The key to it all.
What is The Red Door? It's popped up on the Microsoft Store - that bastion of video game leaks - and current speculation is it refers to Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War.
At the time of this article's publication the listing for The Red Door was still live. It includes a mysterious keyhole image, as well as a cryptic description:
"There is more than one truth. If you go looking for answers, be ready to question everything and accept that nothing will ever be the same. The Red Door awaits, do you dare step through it?"
According to the page, The Red Door is an Activision shooter for Xbox One that weighs in at 81.65GB, but you can't download it without a special code.
So, what is it? Well, this isn't the first time we've spotted The Red Door. It popped up on the PlayStation Store database in June - with the words COD2020INTALPHA1 in the ContentID.
Without comment from Activision, we can only speculate as to the true nature of The Red Door, but it seems clear it's some sort of internal alpha for Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War used for testing.
It's also worth noting we're now in mid-July and Activision has yet to announce this year's Call of Duty game. The mega publisher has never left it this late. But when you consider Treyarch is developing Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War for release just two years after its previous game, Black Ops 4 (Call of Duty developers normally get three years in-between releases), and factor in the disruption caused by the pandemic, Activision's traditional plans were no doubt left in tatters - with stuff like this alpha floating around as debris.
Activision is using battle royale Warzone to tease Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, though. Earlier in July, new audio files found in Warzone mentioned "Ascension" alongside the numbers: 7 15 1 2 19 7 25 6 13 6 7 15 14 0. Ascension and these exact numbers are said by a mystery woman in the intro to 2010's Black Ops:
The audio files also mention a labour camp, a "hell hole" called Vorkuta. Vorkuta is a forced labour camp in one of the prisons operated by the Soviet Regime in Vorkuta, Russia, from 2010's Black Ops. It's featured in the level of the same name in the game's campaign.
And dataminers have found mention of Black Ops character Frank Woods, and even audio for executions, suggesting Woods will be a Modern Warfare and Warzone operator at some point.
In May, Warzone players found various Black Ops Easter eggs, signally a crossover between Modern Warfare and Black Ops was on the cards. Warzone players have already discovered Black Ops' iconic RC-XD frame sitting on a table in a shack just to the west of the prison. Also inside the shack are a bunch of old computers - all very Black Ops / Cold War. A U-2 spy plane was discovered by dataminers - expect that to fly over the map seemingly at random. The spy plane was a killstreak in the original Black Ops.
So, when can we expect a reveal of Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War? Modern Warfare and Warzone's season five is set for early August, so perhaps it won't be long after that.