Call of Duty: Vanguard‘s reveal came at an awkward time for Sledgehammer Games. Mere weeks prior, disgraced publisher Activision Blizzard was slapped with a lawsuit by the state of California for rampant sexism, discrimination, and harassment. The company’s executives chose to deny the allegations, only to end up embarrassing themselves when employees past and present spoke of their experiences, corroborating reports.
It’s no surprise, then, that all eyes were on Vanguard‘s reveal. Several of the game’s developers were conscious of that, and reminded fans that they stand with the victims. And while they were excited to showcase their labor of love, they took the opportunity to acknowledge that Activision Blizzard needs to work on its culture, and then some.
In the midst of this, the glaring omission of Activision’s name and logo from Vanguard‘s reveal trailer (replaced with “Call of Duty presents”) certainly didn’t go unnoticed. Many speculated that the company is trying to distance itself from its most prized possession given the circumstances, but an Activision spokesperson claims that not displaying the logo was a “creative choice.”
“Call of Duty has continued to expand into an incredible universe of experiences,” reads a PR statement provided to Axios’ Stephen Totilo. “This was a creative choice that reflects how Vanguard represents the next major installment in the franchise.”
I asked Activision about the logo’s absence, a change from other CoD reveals.
Their PR: “Call of Duty has continued to expand into an incredible universe of experiences. This was a creative choice that reflects how Vanguard represents the next major installment in the franchise” https://t.co/12PPrXRFcY
— Stephen Totilo (@stephentotilo) August 20, 2021
Nothing to do with the lawsuit and subsequent reports, then? Okay.