Few things in life are certain. The sun will always rise in the morning and set in the evening. Dogs will always be better than cats. And a new Call of Duty will always, always come out every year.
It’s a little early for a formal reveal, but suspicions about what’s next for the series are running high thanks to James Harden. The Houston Rockets star was spotted wearing a baseball cap featuring a minimalistic logo that apes the style of previous logos in the Call of Duty: Black Ops series.
See it here:
And one more look at it, in action!
Three different developers trade off each year to take the lead on different Call of Duty games. So series fans are already well aware that Treyarch Studios, the team behind the Black Ops games, is in charge for 2018. Many had also guessed it would be another Black Ops, making it the fourth entry in that series.
Harden’s hat isn’t how Roman numerals work, but there are clearly four orange hash marks on there. Now check out the past Black Ops logos for the second and third games (the first one is unnumbered):
Pretty similar, right? Sure, this doesn’t necessarily scream “hard proof.” But things get more exciting if you know your Call of Duty history. This isn’t the first time fashion has been used as a platform to tease a coming game in the series.
In 2015, Australian singer/songwriter Cody Simpson popped up wearing a T-shirt bearing a logo that looked mysteriously similar to the “III” Roman numeral in the Call of Duty: Black Ops III title art. That very same week, then-Indiana Pacers center Roy Hibbert tweeted out a photo of himself wearing the same shirt.
Image: ANgelea weiss / Getty Images for Iconix Brand Gr
The shirt was indeed a Call of Duty tease. Black Ops III was formally announced two weeks later, on April 26, 2015.
Was it an intentional hint from Call of Duty publisher Activision? No one’s ever said, one way or another. But how else would those guys get these T-shirts?
These aren’t the only examples. Activision has a history of playful teasing around Call of Duty reveals, on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat. That Snapchat one was even seeded in an earlier game; it was a tease for Black Ops III, and the code was discovered in a Black Ops II multiplayer map after the 2012 game received a surprise update in 2015.
It’s worth noting here: Black Ops III was just updated on March 5.
Also, the typically reliable Kotaku claims an unnamed source confirmed today that the logo on Harden’s hat is indeed a Call of Duty tease (as if there were any doubt at this point).