While a lot of what we know about the game comes from various reports, rumors, and one leaked gameplay video, we are seeing the groundwork for an announcement being laid within Call of Duty: Warzone and the Easter eggs found within its mysterious bunkers.
Here's everything we know so far about Call of Duty 2020, along with every relevant rumor.
When is the Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War release date?
A release date has not been shared for Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War yet, but we can make an educated guess as to when it's going to happen: Call of Duty games launch during the fall without fail, and we shouldn't expect Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War to be any different, even with the success of Call of Duty: Warzone.
Call of Duty games used to release on the first weekend of November, so if Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War's launch follows that pattern, it will come out on November 6, 2020. That said, 2018's Call of Duty Black Ops 4 and 2019's Call of Duty: Modern Warfare both came out in October, so its possible that Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War could come out in October 2020. There's no telling how the ongoing pandemic may have impacted the later stages of the game's development, so for all we know, it may have already been delayed internally.
It's worth noting that Activision announced Call of Duty: Modern Warfare on May 30, 2019 almost exactly five months before it was released. In other words, if 2020 were a normal year, then the next Call of Duty would've been announced months ago. There's no telling how the CoD cycle might be disrupted, but it seems likely that we'll still get a new game in 2020.
Which platforms will Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War be on?
As it hasn't been revealed yet, we don't officially know what platforms Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War will be on yet. A May 2019 Kotaku report, however, confirmed that the game will be "cross-gen," which means that we can expect to play Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X.
Previous games in the series have all released on PC as well, and we don't expect this year to be any different. Nintendo Switch and Google Stadia ports of Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War would be unorthodox and are unlikely to happen, but we won't know for sure until the game is announced.
Who is developing Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War?
The primary developer of Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War is Treyarch, the CoD developer that has always been behind the Black Ops subseries. Interestingly, this hasn't always been the case. According to the aforementioned Kotaku report, Call of Duty: WWII's Sledgehammer games and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered's Raven Software were originally co-developing the project.
That was the case until last year, when "tension between Sledgehammer and Raven" made Activision bring on Treyarch as the primary developer, downgrading Sledgehammer Games and Raven Software to support studios for the title's campaign. This does break the typical three-year development cycle for Call of Duty titles, but Treyarch fans should be happy that they don't have to wait as long for the studio's next game.
Is Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War a reboot?
2019's Call of Duty: Modern Warfare impressed as a holistic reboot of the original Modern Warfare, which catapulted Call of Duty to the forefront of gaming while launching a widely loved subseries. Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War is seemingly trying to do the same for the Black Ops subseries, which began in 2010. On March 18, 2020, YouTuber The Gaming Revolution reported that the game would be a reboot of the Black Ops series, and several subsequent rumors and reports have corroborated this assumption.
A report from Eurogamer, which revealed the Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War title, describes this year's entry as "returning to its roots with a historical setting" and "a similar situation to Infinity Ward's Modern Warfare, which after several sequels got a soft reboot last year." This approach turned out well for Modern Warfare, so hopefully, it will be the same for Black Ops.
What do we know about Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War's story and gameplay?
According to The Gaming Revolution's video, the game is set during the Vietnam War and will show the conflict from the perspectives of American, South Vietnamese, and Viet Cong soldiers. Alex Mason and Frank Wood will get the Captain Price treatment, reappearing as rebooted versions of the characters.
This new title will be a first-person shooter like every Call of Duty game before it, but one Reddit rumor claims that there may be a bit more of a focus on stealth, at least in the earliest campaign missions. While the story is reportedly set primarily in Vietnam, that same leak also claims that players will eventually go to the Soviet Union as the Cold War plot progresses.
The multiplayer will see the return of operators, according to The Gaming Revolution, but won't feature the sci-fi hijinks of games like Call of Duty: Black Ops 4. Then, on June 3, 2020, we got our first look at gameplay when Twitter user TMTJulian_ leaked a PC gameplay video for this year's Call of Duty, calling it a mix between the first and fourth Black Ops games. It's fairly low-res but reveals some interesting information according to Tom's Guide.
Apparently, this is a new map called Tank and part of a larger 45-minute video that another Twitter user Walshberg has. While it's not a high-quality video and the build featured is obviously incomplete, it gives us our first good look at how Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War will play and it isn't too far off from past Black Ops games.
The leaked gameplay doesn't feature any massive new gameplay features or gimmicks, so we don't know what particular strides this game will be making for the series yet. Still, it appears to be a return to the boots-on-the-ground gameplay that a lot of Call of Duty players seem to prefer.
If you were turned off by the sci-fi direction that Call of Duty was going in for several years, then find solace in the rumor that Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War will once again feature "boots on the ground" gameplay.
Will Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War have a zombies mode?
Zombies have become a hallmark of almost every Call of Duty game since the mode was first introduced in World at War, but the mode was absent from 2019's Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. The Gaming Revolution claims that players should expect the mode to make its return with Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War.
It will apparently feature familiar elements like perks but will also have a brand new story not connected to the zombie modes from the previous Call of Duty games. The Gaming Revolution also claims that Tranzit will return, which should please longtime zombies players.
Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War should be released sometime during fall 2020.