Call of Duty Fans Cracked a Convoluted Puzzle for the Next Game's Reveal

Call of Duty Fans Cracked a Convoluted Puzzle for the Next Game's Reveal

Cold War's (non-Doritos bag) reveal may be just around the corner.

We know there's a new Call of Duty coming out this year, and we can be fairly sure it's going to be called Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War—after all, would a Doritos bag lie to us? Even though the name essentially spoils the big picture of what's in store for players, Treyarch and Activision cooked up a dense puzzle that Call of Duty fans just solved in the hopes of seeing a proper reveal for Black Ops Cold War. Now, we know something is coming on Friday.

Long story short, today's big puzzle led to a new Activision-owned website. The website teases a particular date and time: noon on August 14.

The puzzle kicked off this morning when a handful of Call of Duty streamers and fansites, including, opened up large crates sent by Activision. Inside the crates were vintage projectors, packed in with a few slides. The slides contained images of maps, various letter ciphers, and what looked like satellite photos at first glance.

It took a while for folks to figure out that the satellite photos were actually overhead images of a multiplayer map from Black Ops 4, Summit, that was actually just changed with a recent update. Treyarch also updated its Twitter header image to display the mountains that can be seen on the map. Now, a few screens on the Summit display images that line up with the cipher images, which themselves can be combined to piece together a code.

Streamer NoahJ456 (one of the recipients of the crates) then switched over from Black Ops 4 to Warzone in an attempt to complete the puzzle with a code gleaned from the ciphers. Activision recently confirmed that Warzone will "become tied to" the next Call of Duty—right now, it looks like the bunkers that opened back in May are indeed part of the puzzle linked to Treyarch's next installment, and that further secrets may be hiding within.

After fending off hostile stream snipers in Warzone while also trying to parse out chess notation, NoahJ456 and company found an answer not in the bunker, but online. The url "pawntakespawn," which leads to the date-teasing website, matched up with the chess clue and an image posted to Treyarch's Instagram stories, featuring a row of thirteen blanks with only a "k" filled-in for the center. The puzzle's seemingly solved, at least for now, and there are only a few days left to wait for whatever this reveal (or next step in the puzzle) turns out to be.

There was a moment earlier in the stream where spirits were a bit low. Responding to a fellow streamer's comment about how other games just drop trailers, Noah echoed what lots of cryptographically-disinclined Call of Duty fans are probably feeling right now: "I just want to watch the reveal man, come on!"

Sometimes we include links to online retail stores. If you click on one and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. See our terms & conditions.

Mathew Olson


Mathew Olson is a writer formerly of Digg, where he blogged and reported about all things under the umbrella of internet culture (including games, of course). He lives in New York, grew up under rain clouds and the influence of numerous games studios in the Pacific Northwest, and will talk your ear off about Half-Life mods, Talking Heads or Twin Peaks if you let him.

In other news

Halo 3 Gets New Armor in the Master Chief Collection, But Many Aren't Happy About It

The new additions look out of place to many, but 343 says a toggle option is being explored.

NPD: PS5 Sets New US Console Launch Records While Switch Holds Strong

A strong debut for Sony hasn't stopped Switches from flying off shelves.

The Last of Us Part 2 Takes Home Top Prize at The Game Awards: Here Are All the Winners

Hades, Final Fantasy 7 Remake, and Among Us did get some well-earned love too.

Perfect Dark Revival Unveiled at The Game Awards

Joanna's back in a new story conceived by The Initiative.

Need help?

Call of Duty Modern Warfare Weapons Tier List

Here's our guide compiling the Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2019 weapons list, including all weapon unlock levels, and more.

Borderlands 3 Shift Codes List (August 2020)

All the info you need on getting and redeeming SHiFT Codes in Borderlands 3, plus how to get Golden Keys to earn loot.

Destiny 2 Xenophage Quest - How to Get the New Xenophage Machine Gun

This is how to complete the Destiny 2 Xenophage quest, including all puzzles, and more.

Apex Legends Wattson - Abilities, Skins, How to Win With Wattson Apex Legends

This is our guide to Wattson in Apex Legends, featuring all her legendary skins, new abilities, tips, and more.