On February 14th, Activision filed a subpoena requesting Reddit to hand over the information of a user that leaked Call of Duty: Modern Warfare images. The leaks were images of the unannounced Warzone mode uploaded by the now banned user Assyrian2410.
Call of Duty fans have been demanding a Battle Royal mode over the last few years as this genre grew in popularity with games like Fortnite and PUBG. From Reddit to Twitter, all Call of Duty official posts would be followed by a smattering of persistent followers saying “where’s battle royal?”. The new Warzone mode was the answer. Activision was still developing and preparing for a big announcement when Reddit user Assyrian2410 obtained images of the project and posted them.
Activision is quick to act in this case, seemingly in an attempt to make an example of Assyian2410 and Reddit. It is most likely that Assyian obtained these images from an insider source and Activision wants to plug the leak. On Reddit’s side, they have already banned the user and may not have much information to offer due to the limited details given when creating a new Reddit account.
This creates many questions for the future that the industry will have to eventually
address. How will companies contain unannounced information in an era of social media and smartphones? What are the liabilities of the posting platform used by the leaking source? And what punishment, if any, can be placed on the leaker themselves? This will be a developing story and we will follow up with Reddit’s response on the February 28th due date.
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