A new Call of Duty may be around the corner, but word on the street is that 2019’s soft reboot of Modern Warfare might have a little something extra coming in real soon. A little of the ol’ last man standing while a deadly barrier encircles the battlefield and forces everyone to make a beeline for safety while murdering one another in glorious fashion, you dig?
Battle royale my dudes, battle royale. That was the scoop that made headlines a few weeks back, as Call of Duty’s new Warzone mode was rumoured to be a free to play add-on for the game that will also be up for download outside of the main game. It was good news for anyone who enjoyed Call of Duty: Black Ops 4’s take on the genre in the form of Blackout, but news that Activision was none too happy about.
They’re downright miffed at the leak, so much so that they’ve unleashed the legal hounds upon reddit, demanding that the hub of several dodgy sub-forums hand over the data of the person who was responsible for the initial leak. According to TorrentFreak, Activision got their hands on a subpoena from the US court, starting a digital manhunt for a redditor called Assyrian2410. That fella posted the original image allegedly, but has since gone into hiding after scrubbing the original post and burning their account into deletion.
It might be an empty threat however, as Reddit has faced similar action in the past which set a legal precedent according to Gizmodo. That case eventually wound up favouring reddit, with the courts declaring that since the website is an American platform, the First Amendment freedom of speech applied to it and allowed for anonymous free speech.
Activision has gone above and beyond that as well, aggressively issuing takedown notices to a Call of Duty subreddit moderator who posted one of the leaked images and even going to war with a fan subreddit dedicated to the upcoming Warzone mode. “In the email they sent me concerning the takedown, they linked every other tweet that contained the same image that was removed, and there was quite a long list,” r/modernwarzone founder DougDagnabbit said via Eurogamer.
Every other takedown that’s come since has been more of the same, with the community’s original content being affected adversely due to them copyright striking anything that they see fit. Even information that’s easily available in-game without using exploits or cheats of any kind.
Is Activision well within its rights to issue takedown notices across the internet as it seeks to protect its intellectual property? Absolutely, no question about that. Is this becoming a PR nightmare in the process that has its most devoted fans caught in legal crosshairs? Double absolutely.
Last Updated: February 24, 2020