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A hot potato: It seems another property is trying to distance itself from Activision Blizzard amid a discrimination and sexual harassment lawsuit brought against the company. This time, Call of Duty: Vanguard is mysteriously missing the Activision name and logo. A game representative responded to the absence, though the explanation isn't exactly revealing.
It was Twitter user Neoxon619 who first noticed that at the end of the COD: Vanguard trailer, Activision's logo isn't visible alongside dev studios Sledgehammer Games, Treyarch, and Beenox. Kotaku reports that this is unusual as the branding has been present in the series' trailers as far back as 2011's Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3—the first video uploaded to the official Call of Duty YouTube channel.
The only place where Activision's name is mentioned throughout the video is in small-print copyright information, which is a legal requirement.
Neoxon619 also discovered that Activision's logo is conspicuously absent from the Call of Duty: Vanguard page on Battle.net, despite the name being very visible on other CoD titles listed on the company's digital store.
They even removed the Activision logo from the pre-order page. I also included the other BattleNet CoD pages for reference. pic.twitter.com/B4RjljQfmK— Nabil #BLM #StopAsianHate (@Neoxon619) August 20, 2021
Kotaku reached out to an Activision representative to ask why the name and logo were missing from such a high-profile release. "Call of Duty has continued to expand into an incredible universe of experiences," they said. "This was a creative choice that reflects how Vanguard represents the next major installment in the franchise."
While the rep did acknowledge the Activision branding's removal, it's hard to imagine this was all a "creative choice" and not a direct result of the lawsuit that accuses the firm of harassment, discrimination, sexism, and fostering a "frat boy" culture. It's already resulted in T-Mobile, Astro, the US Army, Coca-Cola, Pringles, and more pulling their sponsorships from the Call of Duty and Overwatch leagues. We've also seen Blizzard president J. Allen Brack three senior developers depart the company.