After a delay last week out of respect for the widespread Black Lives Matter protests, Season 4 of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare may begin as soon as this week, according to a recent datamine.
What happened? — On the evening of June 5, two popular Call of Duty fan accounts on Twitter, @GeekyPasttimes and @TheMW2Ghost, shared a screenshot of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare data files that appear to reveal the end of Season 3 and the beginning of Season 4.
The images suggest that the game's code confirms Season 3 will now end on June 10 UTC (Coordinated Universal Time, four hours ahead of New York). If June 10 marks the end of final challenges for Season 3, it stands to reason that Season 4 will begin right after.
"Season 4 of #ModernWarfare may be coming next Wednesday, at 6am UTC," writes TheMW2Ghost on Twitter, "as discovered in a datamined file which I have posted in the discord if you want to see."
Another popular Call of Duty fan account, @ModernWarzone quote tweeted TheMW2Ghost said the leak is "99% verifiable."
"We can now give 99% verifiable confirmation that #Season4 of #CallofDuty#ModernWarfare and #Warzone will be available at the normal Tuesday update time on June the 9th," ModernWarzone tweeted. "So 11 PM PST. This information is directly from the files, and has been verified through multiple sources."
We have emailed Infinity Ward for comment and will update when we hear back.
How to read the leaks — Without any knowledge of coding, the leaks read like a load of gibberish. But as pointed out by folks on social media, it's written in Unix Epoch code, and deciphering a specific set of numbers reveals that the dates for Season 3's challenges were changed from ending on June 3 to ending on June 10.
As highlighted in the images, the numbers "1591768800," when punched into EpochConverter, reveal the date of June 10, 2020, time 6:00 a.m.
What it means — Season 4 of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare was delayed from its original June 3 launch in support of the widespread protests against police brutality and systemic racism. Infinity Ward did not reveal a new date for Season 4, which irked some fans eagerly anticipating the new season of content. This leak suggests fans won't have to wait much longer.
Season 4 of Modern Warfare will introduce Captain Price as a playable multiplayer Operator, along with some new lore to the popular, free-to-play battle royale mode Warzone.
The Inverse Analysis — Infinity Ward and publisher Activision read the room and decided last week was not the best time to promote a new season of content for a video game (especially one that features gas bombs as weapons and police officers as character skins). Still, some fans voiced a predictable annoyance on places like Reddit. But the wait doesn't appear to be long, and the season could drop this week. Meanwhile, the protests continue to gain support worldwide.