Players are speculating that Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War was originally going to be called Black Ops 5. This comes after the discovery of references to the unannounced title in-game.
It's no shock to learn that Black Ops Cold War had development problems. In fact, it's likely the reason that the game feels a little lacking in both overall polish and content.
Those who followed the game's production might already know that originally, Sledgehammer Games was developing the game that would become Cold War as we know it. According to reports, disputes between Sledgehammer Games and Raven Software led to Activision bringing in Treyarch as the new lead developer.
Now Treyarch had less time than usual to work with before the game was set to release. They had Sledgehammer Games' base to build upon, but no time to start over.
Because of this, the developer likely made use of their own upcoming assets for the next Black Ops title, alongside whatever Sledgehammer had put together so far.
The result was Black Ops Cold War, but we can see where Black Ops 5's influence is shining through.
Black Ops Cold War Was Almost Black Ops 5
Of course, by all accounts, Black Ops Cold War is actually Black Ops 5. But just being the fifth Black Ops title isn't enough to warrant the name.
In terms of storyline, Black Ops Cold War is a direct follow-up to the original Black Ops, making the title more similar to a Black Ops 1.5. Yet clues that point to Cold War reusing Black Ops 5 assets are being found in-game.
One such reference appears in the game's Message of the Day, which pops up upon opening Multiplayer. Taking a close look at the top right-hand corner, we see a logo that belongs to Black Ops 5.
A closer look at the Black Ops Cold War Wildcards also reveals a telling logo. Although this one is harder to see, Twitter user CoDGhosts619 shows us a zoomed-in perspective, making things clear.
Again, Wildcards appear to have been brought over straight from Black Ops 5's production. While some players are taking this as a hint to Treyarch's next title, it seems more than likely that the developer is just reusing its own assets.
Does This Explain Cold War's Unfinished Feel?
Cold War being a quick-turnaround title for Treyarch, with elements of two games merging together, makes perfect sense. After all, the game launched with just 8 multiplayer maps in total, as well as a relatively short campaign and only one Zombies map.
According to leaks, there were initially 3 Zombies maps scheduled for launch, and the Vietnam Cold War Zombies map is coming soon. It also explains the balance issues, like Flak Jacket making players invincible.
Treyarch may not have had sufficient time for testing, leading to problems both in gameplay and balancing. There's even an infinite XP Black Ops Cold War Zombies glitch, possibly due to the game mode's lack of development time.
Players are also discovering new Cold War exploits in Multiplayer, allowing them to get the edge on opponents. Although many new titles launch with issues, we can't help thinking that Cold War has more than its fair share.
Perhaps Black Ops 5 would have had the time it needed to release as a finished product.