How Should Activision Handle Call Of Duty Leaks?
Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War was officially revealed earlier this week with a brand new trailer for the Campaign. This is fairly traditional for the series, as the Campaign sets the stage for both the multiplayer and zombies modes. However, we will be seeing an official reveal for both multiplayer and zombies on September 9. This was confirmed in the previously mentioned trailer, but was also leaked beforehand by insider sources.
This has become too commonplace in the community, as numerous sources have direct knowledge of each game's development. Whether this is a good thing or not can be argued, but most agree that leakers provide hype that official announcements simply can't match. Of course, Activision would argue this is bad practice, and the publishers have issued copyright strikes to many social media channels over leaks. Is this the correct move, or is there something else that can be done?
Activision and leaks in Call of Duty
Leaking really took off in Call of Duty when WWII released back in 2017. Leaks were always a thing before this, but they were more so a result of playtesters spilling the beans on social media. With this new wave of leaks, ordinary content creators seem to have insider sources within Activision or the developing studio. Since 2017, YouTubers and Twitter accounts have become the premiere leakers in the community, much to Activision's dismay.
However, the leaks do create a sense of hype around the upcoming title or content drop. In recent years, Activision has gone quiet when it comes to new games or content, which is a strange marketing strategy. After all, you want players and potential players to get excited about the content that the developers have been working on. This is rarely achieved in today's age though thanks to the lack of teasers and official information.
So, leakers came to the forefront for players who wanted to know what to expect in the future. Leaking accounts receive millions on interactions and views on social media platforms whenever a new leak is discovered. In turn, this creates more hype than there was previously, due to Activision not really releasing any marketing material.
Yes, Call of Duty: Warzone has brought some of that marketing back. However, for the main games, there hasn't been nearly as much attention given, and it's caused the community to turn to leakers for their information. Of course, this doesn't stop Activision from striking their channel for merely discussing the leaks they've heard regarding a new game or piece of content. One of the premier leakers in the community, TheGamingRevolution, recently went on a rant regarding this practice from the Call of Duty publishers.
TheGamingRevolution argues that because of the lack of official news, leakers are almost forced to spill their information. He claims that they're receiving the intel from sources and through the in-game files. The files are easily accessible, and almost a matter of public record, so why wouldn't data-miners share that information?
In regards to TheGamingRevolution specifically, Activision seems to have taken a stance against any and all leaks from inside sources. TGR has had several strikes on his YouTube channel, a few Twitter accounts banned, and a lawsuit nearly brought against him, all by Activision's hand. Other accounts have received similar treatments but nothing like what TGR has experienced.
Leakers in other titles, such as Fortnite, are almost revered in their respective communities. Fortnite developer Epic Games knows about the leakers and rarely ever strikes a channel. So why has Activision taken such drastic measures against its community's leakers? That's simply how it's always been. In the early days of Call of Duty, Activision would even have the police show up to people's doors if they posted early gameplay of the new title.
However, if the publishers don't release enough official news, leaks will continue to spill out. The in-game files make it extremely easy to leak information, and there's really nothing the publishers can do about that. It's the general opinion of the community that Activision should either release more official news, or let the leakers do what they do, like in the case of Fortnite. If this current war continues, nothing will change, and the two sides will still be at odds.
Activision needs to speak on the matter sooner rather than later; leakers like TheGamingRevolution will continue to do what they've done for years, and that's not going to change. However, if Activision were to reveal more to the public, leaks would become less common, and thus there wouldn't be as much of a need to strike channels and ban accounts. Some guidelines on what is acceptable to talk about in a YouTube video about Call of Duty leaks would also be beneficial.
Image via Activision