Call of Duty: Warzone players have been uncovering hints that the map we've been fighting through ever since the launch of the standalone battle royale is set to meet an apocalyptic end at the conclusion for Season 2 for a while now, and a new leak seemingly confirms it.
A very, very swiftly deleted, low-quality recording of a new map trailer has revealed that Verdansk is soon going to get an 80's makeover.
This all started with the beginning of Season 2, which brought 2 major changes to the original Warzone map - the introduction of Zombies and the opening of old missile silos. Thing is, these missile silos still have warheads inside, and as the season progressed the Zombie outbreak spread further throughout the map instead of being contained in the same small area around the beached Vodianoy.
Data miners have been digging up clues from the game files indicating that by the end of Season 2, the Zombie infestation would have covered the entirety of the Verdansk map, making it necessary to purge the area completely - most likely using those missiles. This would leave the whole map destroyed, raising the question of what would replace it.
Now, based on a few awfully low-resolution images taken from the leaked trailer, we have a vague idea - Activision is taking us back in time, bringing Warzone up to speed with Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War by having players drop in Verdansk once again - only this time, it's the 80's. The stadium is still under construction, the map is littered with Cold War landmarks, military installations sport old and outdated tech and there's even a large aqueduct spanning part of the map.
Since this is pretty massive news that spoils much of what Activision had planned for the end of Season 2, and no doubt the new 80's map would have been one of the big reveals for Season 3, the publisher scrambled to wipe the news off the internet - but the cat is out of the bag, and once something is posted you can never really delete it.
Sources who saw the original leak - a one minute video - reported that it consists of a sizzle reel and some footage of a time-lapse flyover depicting the map slowly changing from the current version to the new one. 10 seconds of the footage have persisted on Reddit. If anything, Activision's unusually aggressive reaction to trying to contain the leak has only succeeded in drawing even more attention to it. Apparently Activision-Blizzard lawyers are not acquainted with the Streisand Effect.
It isn't clear when we'll get any official news about the Warzone map update, but we'll cover it when it drops.