Late last year, Activision CEO Eric Hirshberg confirmed a new Call of Duty installment was on the schedule for 2012, so news about a direct sequel to Call of Duty: Black Ops was not a big surprise. What is surprising is the lengths to which Activison has gone to suppress the information.
Earlier today, a Nerve Software employee revealed that he is working on art for Black Ops 2 on his LinkedIn page. Nerve Software previously worked on several games for Activision — and for Call of Duty developer Treyarch in particular, including the original Black Ops and Quantum of Solace.
Amazon France also got into the action, putting up a pre-order listing for Black Ops 2 earlier this week. The listing was rescinded almost immediately, but not before various outlets in the French media had noticed the information. Activision went into damage control mode, and the Call of Duty publisher contacted various outlets asking them to remove the story. Several complied (Jeuxvideo, JVN), but Gameblog.fr did not.
Upon refusal, the site was told that it was blacklisted and was no longer welcome at next week's Transformers: Fall of Cybertron press event. Activision further told Gameblog.fr that it was pulling all advertising from the site, including any already scheduled campaigns.
"Unfortunately our decision has consequences. Activision has decided to sever all connections with Gameblog.fr. Specifically, the publisher has asked us not to show up at the Transformers: Fall Of Cybertron press event to which we were invited next week, so we will be unable to bring you coverage. We will no longer, unfortunately, receive titles from Activision, which will most likely result in delayed review coverage. They also informed us we will no longer receive advertisement and that already planned banner campaigns will be pulled."
If Activision hoped to suppress information about the existence of Black Ops 2, the company has failed to achieve its goal. By making a scene and blacklisting a media outlet, the company has fallen prey to the Streisand effect, inadvertently confirming the leaked news as genuine.
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