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‘Call of Duty: Warzone 2.0’ goes live November 16th

Call of Duty: Warzone 2.0 will officially land on November 16th, bringing Modern Warfare II environments, gameplay and technology to a large-scale battlefield. This release date has been floating around the internet for a few months now, and Activision confirmed it today during a showcase about the new, connected future of Call of Duty.

Modern Warfare II and Warzone 2.0 will mark a turning point for the Call of Duty franchise, with a focus on cross-progression and shared technology among its various versions. MWII comes out on October 28th, just a few weeks before Warzone 2.0. Both games will use the same underlying technology, a fresh version of the IW engine that powered 2019’s Modern Warfare

Warzone 2.0 will serve as an extension of MWII multiplayer, set in a fictional region of Western Asia called Al Mazrah. The battle royale has a revamped circle mechanic for end-game play, with multiple enclosures dropping down, rather than a single shrinking circle. There’s also a new sandbox experience called DMZ and a revamped Gulag, where killed players can fight for the chance to rejoin a match in 2-on-2 skirmishes.

AI mechanics in Warzone 2.0 will be ripped from the mainline installment as well — MWII will feature AI-driven advancements in squad positioning and enemy behavior, offering more lifelike reactions to player movement across the board. This AI system will also be live in Warzone 2.0. Both titles will use Activision’s Ricochet Anti-Cheat, a kernel-level solution that monitors your rig while the games are active.

MWII multiplayer emphasizes amphibious play, stealth and vehicular combat, and later this year it’ll get a new 3-v-3 Raids mode. The MWII multiplayer open beta goes live September 16th on PlayStation, and September 22nd on Xbox and PC (and still PlayStation). This’ll be open to folks who pre-ordered the game.

Warzone 2.0 will be free-to-play, just like its granddaddy, Warzone.

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Sony’s Jim Ryan says Microsoft’s Call of Duty promise was ‘inadequate on many levels’

Sony PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan has revealed that Microsoft offered to keep Call of Duty available on PlayStation for three years beyond its current Activision deal. “After almost 20 years of Call of Duty on PlayStation, their proposal was inadequate on many levels and failed to take account of the impact on our gamers,” Ryan told GamesIndustry.biz

Last week, the UK’s competition authority said it was concerned that Microsoft’s $68.7 billion Activision Blizzard acquisition could “harm rivals” by shutting them out of popular games like Call of Duty and World of Warcraft. Xbox chief Phil Spencer essentially responded by saying the company made a deal with Sony to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation for “several more years” in an offer “that goes well beyond typical gaming industry agreements.”

However, Sony is apparently concerned about the arrangement. “I hadn’t intended to comment on what I understood to be a private business discussion, but I feel the need to set the record straight because Phil Spencer brought this into the public forum,” Ryan said. “Microsoft has only offered for Call of Duty to remain on PlayStation for three years after the current agreement between Activision and Sony ends. We want to guarantee PlayStation gamers continue to have the highest quality Call of Duty experience, and Microsoft’s proposal undermines this principle.”

Activision’s current deal with Sony is reported to cover the next three Call of Duty releases, including Modern Warfare II set to arrive on October 28th. Last month, Microsoft made an interesting argument about monopoly concerns around the Activision acquisition, saying that the company it wants to pay $68.7 billion to acquire makes no “must have” games. Sony, meanwhile, called Call of Duty an “essential” triple-A game “that has no rival.” As analyst Daniel Ahmad pointed out, Sony was Activision Blizzard’s biggest customer in 2020, while Microsoft was the fourth largest behind Google and Apple.

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‘Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II’ pre-order customers can play the story a week early

Do you feel guilty for playing a game’s single-player campaign on release day when all your friends are jumping into the multiplayer mode? You won’t have that burden with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II. Activision has revealed that pre-order customers can play the MW2 story starting October 20th, a week before the game officially debuts on October 28th. You can get the solo content out of the way before you spend all your hours online.

As mentioned before, pre-order purchasers also get two-day early access to MW2‘s open beta sessions as well as instant use of special character and weapon skins. Splurge on the Vault Edition and you also get a Battle Pass for the first season as well as characters and cosmetics accessible in the open beta, Warzone and even the original Modern Warfare remake.

Activision is promising more details for MW2 and the next Warzone (including its new mobile version) at an hours-long Call of Duty event on September 15th. However, the advance access to single-player gameplay shows the company’s priorities. While it’s still committed to furthering the series’ plot, it sees this latest game as the foundation for a new multiplayer experience.

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‘Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II’ multiplayer reveal set for September 15th

Activision and Infinity Ward are set to reveal Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II‘s multiplayer mode along with other details at the Next showcase event on September 15th. They also announced that the early access beta will start rolling out on September 16 and 17 on PlayStation consoles and arrive in an open crossplay beta to all consoles and PCs starting September 24th.

As shown below, you’ll need to pre-order to get the open and early access beta releases, with PlayStation owners getting first dibs. After the early access, PlayStation 4 and 5 users will get the open beta from September 18-20, and then Xbox and PC will get early access (crossplay beta) from September 22-23, with PlayStation getting the open crossplay beta on the same dates. Finally, the open beta (crossplay) will be available on all platforms from September 24-26.

'Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II' multiplayer reveal set for September 15th

Infinity Ward

Along with the multiplayer mode, Infinity Ward said it would show “the imminent future of [what] Call of Duty will look like, including many more details regarding Modern Warfare II, information on the next Call of Duty: Warzone, and more on the mobile version of Call of Duty: Warzone (also known as Project Aurora).” It also promised you’d see YouTubers streamers playing the games in real time, along with surprise information. 

If you haven’t pre-ordered, you may still be able to get a beta code for early access from various streamers and YouTubers. Modern Warfare II is the successor to 2019’s Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, based on the original Modern Warfare subseries launched in 2007. The new title is set to arrive on October 28th and cost $70 across all platforms. 

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Call of Duty has stricter gun control measures than the US

is taking on cheaters in some inventive ways. For one thing, it’s literally taking away their guns. When the Ricochet anti-cheat system detects someone who’s breaking the rules, they may lose their weapons (as well as their dignity). The cheaters can’t even defend themselves with their fists.

“We don’t expect many clips of this to find their way online, but we have seen it in action and the reactions from cheaters are always priceless,” the Ricochet team wrote. features a short clip of an undoubtedly upstanding member of the community encountering a now-harmless cheater.

A Call of Duty player takes on a cheater whose weapons have been removed

Activision

The Disarm measure is one of several actions Ricochet takes against cheaters. “When a bad actor is detected, we hit them with something from our mitigation toolbox (or all of them at once if we’re feeling spicy) and analyze the data from the machine determined to be cheating,” the team behind it wrote. “Beyond [our] mission to combat unfair play, we have a second somewhat secret mission to annoy as many cheaters as we can.”

Other mitigation measures include Damage Shield, which reduces the damage those who play fairly take from cheaters. “If you’re being shot and see your health slowly trickle down, you know it’s likely a cheater on the other end of the battle,” the blog post reads. The ne’er-do-well may realize that their opponent has Damage Shield enabled. Not only will they waste their ammo, they may figure out they’ve been caught in the act. Another mitigation technique is Cloaking. When a cheater fires at a legitimate player, the latter may become invisible to the rule-breaker.

Activision said the anti-cheat system has led to a “significant” drop in cheaters in some respects, though there have been “some unfortunate increases.” That’s part of the perennial cat-and-mouse battle it’s in with cheaters, who are always looking for new exploits. Since late April, though, Activision has banned more than 180,000 players across both  and . The Ricochet system will also be used in a new interpretation of , which will arrive later this year.

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‘Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II’ is actually all about ‘Warzone 2.0’

Let’s get this out of the way: No Russian will not be included in the new Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II. In fact, the game will penalize friendly fire and fail players who shoot civilians while in combat.

This is in stark contrast to the No Russian mission from the original Modern Warfare II, which came out in 2009 – in this level, players were instructed to shoot their way through a busy airport, killing civilians en masse alongside a Russian terrorist organization. The protagonist was undercover, trying to infiltrate the cell for the CIA, and even though it was possible to skip this section or play it without firing a single shot, the fictional peer pressure to kill as many people as possible was strong.

No Russian sparked heavy controversy with the release of Modern Warfare II. Though Call of Duty has made billions gamifying the horrors of war, many players balked at the idea of role-playing as a mass shooter targeting unarmed civilians. The mission came with a content warning in the US and it was censored internationally. Infinity Ward and Activision were forced to publicly justify its inclusion, arguing against the idea that it was tone-deaf, ham-fisted and needlessly disturbing.

With the 2022 version of Modern Warfare II, Infinity Ward is avoiding the conversation altogether. In response to the question, “Can you confirm whether the No Russian mission will be included in the new game, in any form?” an Activision spokesperson responded as follows:

“No. There are NPC civilians in the game, but you will be penalized for friendly fires. If civilians are caught in the crossfire, players will automatically get a mission fail.”

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II

Activision

This fits with the overall vibe of the new Modern Warfare II. At a media briefing ahead of its reveal, Infinity Ward developers emphasized the game’s entertainment value over serious wartime themes, at one point using the phrase, “fun for everyone.” They said they wanted this Modern Warfare II to be realistic, but still “cool.” Without mentioning No Russian specifically, developers said the goal of the original game was to be provocative, while this year’s version was aiming to be heroic.

With Modern Warfare II, Infinity Ward is sticking to the fun bits of war. The game still deals in real-world themes of organized violence, large-scale military action and shadowy terrorist groups – but no joke, I’ve never heard Call of Duty developers use the word “fun” so freely in a pre-release briefing.

This may be because Modern Warfare II marks the beginning of a fresh approach to Call of Duty for Activision, with pivotal implications for the future of Warzone specifically. When the next version of Warzone comes out after October of this year, it will include the AI improvements, new vehicle behaviors and upgraded physics of Modern Warfare II, and both games will run on the same engine.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II

Activision

“A wholly new Warzone will launch as an extension of the Modern Warfare II universe,” an Activision spokesperson said. “With it comes new technology, new features, and new gameplay that work seamlessly together…. In order to fully deliver this state-of-the-art experience, Warzone 2.0 will feature new Modern Warfare II content and systems with brand new progression and inventories. Today’s Warzone will continue on as a separate experience that will include a continuation of player progression and inventories within that Warzone experience.”

Modern Warfare II is scheduled to come out on October 28th. Warzone 2.0 should land soon after, according to Activision.

Modern Warfare II is a sequel to 2019’s Modern Warfare, which rebooted the series but kept familiar themes and characters like Captain John Price. The new game follows Price’s Task Force 141 and Mexican Special Forces as they attempt to thwart terrorist plans across the globe.

“We love telling stories,” Infinity Ward head writer Brian Bloom said. “Story is character and character is story, and that’s writery stuff that writers sometimes say internally, but it boils down to a simple thing. If you have a plot, who’s in it, what’s happening?”

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Activision Blizzard workers stage walkout over Call of Duty studio layoffs

Employees and contractors at Activision Blizzard are walking out of work today in support of their colleagues at Raven Software. The protest, the third such to hit the company since it was over sexual harassment allegations in July, comes after Raven, one of the studios that supports Activision’s incredibly popular Call of Duty franchise, laid off 12 quality assurance contractors. The action started on Monday when 60 workers at Raven Software, including both full-time employees and contractors, left work to protest the surprise terminations.

The protest has no planned end date, a first for the walkouts at Activision Blizzard. Those involved in the action are demanding the publisher hire all QA contractors, including those who lost their jobs on Friday, as full-time employees. “Those participating in this demonstration do so with the continued success of the studio at the forefront of their mind,” said Blizzard Activision worker advocacy group A Better ABK on Twitter. “The Raven QA department is essential to the day-to-day functioning of the studio as a whole. Terminating the contracts of high performing testers in a time of consistent work and profit puts the health of the studio at risk.”

Management at Raven told QA staff at the end of last week it would hold one-on-one meetings with everyone to decide if they would get the chance to stay at the studio as a full-time staff member. The developer told approximately 30 percent of the team their contracts would end on January 28th, with more still waiting to find if they’ll have a job beyond the start of the year. According to A Better ABK, every worker Raven decided not to keep was in “good standing,” which is to say they had not underperformed in their job or committed a fireable offense.

According to , Raven studio head Brian Raffel said during an all-hands meeting on Monday he didn’t consider the terminations as layoffs. Instead, he said the studio had merely decided not to renew the contracts of those who were let go. Raffel reportedly later apologized for his comments.

“We are converting approximately 500 temporary workers to full-time employees in the coming months,” an Activision Blizzard spokesperson in response to the layoffs. “Unfortunately, as part of this change, we also have notified 20 temporary workers across studios that their contracts would not be extended.” The move comes after the publisher posted a million during its most recent fiscal quarter.

We’ve reached out to Activision Blizzard for additional comment.

This latest action isn’t directly related to the misconduct claims that have left Activision Blizzard in turmoil for months — though it’s likely safe to say frustrations across the company are at a boiling point. The first walkout occurred in July shortly after the company issued an “” response to the harassment lawsuit from California’s fair employment regulator. More recently, employees after published a bombshell report on Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick’s handling of the crisis. That article implicated Kotick in the mistreatment that has characterized the company’s work culture for years. As part of that protest, thousands of Activision Blizzard employees .

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Call of Duty: Vanguard Black Friday Deal 2021: Cheapest Price

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The latest entry in Activision’s iconic first-person shooter franchise dropped earlier this month, and Walmart already has a hot Call of Duty: Vanguard Black Friday deal that lets you score a nice discount on it. This is one of the best Black Friday deals we’ve seen on a newer title that just launched not even a month ago, so if you’re scouring the web for some early Black Friday gaming deals before the official sales roll in later this week, then you can take advantage of the Call of Duty: Vanguard Black Friday deal from Walmart right now for just $39 — saving you as much as $21.

  • Call of Duty: Vanguard for PlayStation 4: $39, was $60 –VIEW DEAL” cta=”<strong>VIEW DEAL</strong>” custom_param_1_name=”sharedid” custom_param_1_value=”affiliateholiday” custom_param_2_name=”subid2″ custom_param_2_value=”gaming”] [cc-link url=”https://www.walmart.com/ip/Call-of-Duty-Vanguard-PlayStation-4-Physical-Edition/104881138″ merchant=”5bbe5655a75b86650503745f” type=”textlink” title=”VIEW DEAL” cta=”<strong>VIEW DEAL</strong>”]VIEW DEAL
  • Call of Duty: Vanguard for PlayStation 5: $39, was $70 — VIEW DEAL
  • Call of Duty: Vanguard for Xbox One and Xbox Series X: $39, was $70 — VIEW DEAL

Call of Duty: Vanguard Black Friday deal: Cheapest price today

Walmart’s Call of Duty: Vanguard Black Friday deal is the best price we’ve seen yet on the latest installment of the franchise. Better still, it’s available for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X, so you can grab it no matter which platform you prefer to play on. Call of Duty: Vanguard is a follow-up to 2017’s Call of Duty: WWII, which returned the series to its roots. The Vanguard single-player campaign puts the player in the boots of early special forces operators in the African and European theaters of the Second World War.

Of course, seasoned Call of Duty vets know that what keeps people coming back to these games is the multiplayer action. Vanguard delivers the fast-paced Call of Duty multiplayer that fans know and love, with some modern updates like destructible environments that add a new layer of depth to the classic gameplay formula. The beloved cooperative Zombies multiplayer mode makes a return as well. If you’re looking to get a head-start and maybe gain a competitive edge while you wait for your game to arrive, we’ve got you covered with our Call of Duty: Vanguard multiplayer guide. We also have some tips on how to level up fast in Call of Duty: Vanguard and an explainer of how prestige works if you want some help getting through the early multiplayer grind.

This Call of Duty: Vanguard Black Friday deal lets you grab the PS4, Ps5, and Xbox One/Xbox Series X versions of the game for just $39. That saves you as much as $31 and is a great price on a new triple-A title that’s not even a month old. Act fast, though — we doubt this offer will last through the weekend.

  • Call of Duty: Vanguard for PlayStation 4: $39, was $60 –VIEW DEAL” cta=”<strong>VIEW DEAL</strong>” custom_param_1_name=”sharedid” custom_param_1_value=”affiliateholiday” custom_param_2_name=”subid2″ custom_param_2_value=”gaming”] [cc-link url=”https://www.walmart.com/ip/Call-of-Duty-Vanguard-PlayStation-4-Physical-Edition/104881138″ merchant=”5bbe5655a75b86650503745f” type=”textlink” title=”VIEW DEAL” cta=”<strong>VIEW DEAL</strong>”]VIEW DEAL
  • Call of Duty: Vanguard for PlayStation 5: $39, was $70 — VIEW DEAL
  • Call of Duty: Vanguard for Xbox One and Xbox Series X: $39, was $70 — VIEW DEAL
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‘Call of Duty: Warzone’ Pacific update delayed to December 8th

Activision has delayed the release of Call of Duty Vanguard’s season one update and Warzone Pacific by about a week. The publisher now plans to make both available on December 8th, instead of December 2nd and December 3rd as previously planned. Activision did not provide a reason for the delay. However, it has been mired in controversy this week following an from The Wall Street Journal on and the role he may have played in creating the toxic “frat boy” culture that has seen the company in the news frequently in recent months.

According to a from the official Call of Duty Twitter account, Vanguard’s first seasonal update includes new maps and modes, an update to the game’s and the addition of new gear and weapons for players to earn. Warzone Pacific, meanwhile, adds a map called Caldera to Activision’s popular battle royale. If you own a copy of Vanguard, you’ll get the chance to play the new battleground 24 hours before everyone else.

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The Best PC Keybinds for Call of Duty: Vanguard

PC players prefer their platform over consoles for a variety of reasons. Aside from the ability to run games at much higher settings, both graphically and performance-wise, it’s the control scheme of keyboard and mouse that just feels much better for certain types of games. First-person shooters, for instance, are played at the highest level on PCs in part due to how much more accurate a player can be using a mouse to aim as compared to a thumbstick. That’s not a universal rule, but there’s no denying that there are some inherent advantages to one control scheme over the other.

The other big point in PC players’ favor is how many options they have to make any game play exactly how they want to. Controller players are typically limited to a few sets of preset control schemes, or maybe the ability to fully remap the controller, but PC players have an entire keyboard they can set up exactly how they like. At the same time, so many key options can make finding the ideal, and most comfortable, control scheme a chore. Rather than spend time going through each button one by one, we’ve devised what we believe to be the best PC keybinds for Call of Duty: Vanguard.

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Advanced Mouse Settings

ADS Mouse Sensitivity Mode: Legacy (Alternate)

Mouse Wheel Input Delay: 80

Mouse Acceleration: 0

Mouse Filtering: 0

Mouse Smoothing: Off

Player and Vehicle Movement

Soldiers running as sparks fall around them.

Move Forward: W

Move Left: A

Move Backward: S

Move Right: D

Sprint/Steady Aim: Shift

Crouch/Slide: CTRL

Jump/Stand/Mantle: Space Bar

Prone: C

Detonate Vehicle: Left Mouse Button

Gas: W

Turn Left: A

Reverse: S

Turn Right: D

Crouch Behavior: Toggle

Slide Behavior: Tap

Prone Behavior: Toggle

Airborne Mantle: Manual

Grounded Mantle: Off

Automatic Ground Mantle: Off

Automatic Sprint: Off

Sprint/Tactical Sprint Behavior: Toggle

Sprint Cancels Reload: On

Door Bash Interaction: Automatic

Walk Behavior: Hold

Walk Speed: 25% of Normal Speed

Weapon and Equipment

Soldier shooting from plane in Call of Duty: Vanguard.

Killstreak Slot 1: 3

Killstreak Slot 2: 4

Killstreak Slot 3: 5

Killstreak Slot 4: 6

Killstreak Wheel: K

Fire Weapon: Left mouse button

Aim Down Sight: Right mouse button

Tactical Equipment: Mouse button 4

Lethal Equipment: Mouse button 5

Previous Weapon: 1 and mouse wheel down

Next Weapon: 2 and mouse wheel up

Reload: R

Use: E

Alternate Fire: B

Weapon Mount: Aim and Melee

Melee/Finishing Move: V

Field Upgrade: X

Aim Down Sight Behavior: Hold

Weapon Mount Activation: ADS + Melee

Weapon Mount Movement Exit: Off

Equipment Behavior: Hold

Quick Satchel Charge Detonation: On

Change Zoom Shared Input: Steady Aim

Weapon Switch Wrap-Around: On

Depleted Ammo Weapon Switch: On

Interact Behavior: Tap

Automatic Fire Behavior: Hold

Scoreboard Behavior: Hold

System Key Behavior: Operating System

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