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Call of Duty Black Ops 4

Activision and Treyarch announced that a sequel to Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 is in the works and prepping for release this fall for home consoles and PC. It's none other than the long-rumored Call of Duty: Black Ops 4.

Activision sent out word that the upcoming entry in the long-running first-person shooter series will "revolutionize" the top-selling brand. The game will launch later this year, on October 12th, 2018 for the Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and on Steam for PC. Ahead of its launch, Activision will debut some revelatory information about Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 this spring, on May 17th.

There wasn't much more information revealed other than that, but this is in line with most of Activision's other promotional roadmaps for the annual first-person shooter series. Usually, there's an announcement that teases the next game, and then a reveal date put into place where the full trailer is made available for public viewing. From there, the full promo-train gets underway.

We have no idea what Black Ops 4 is going to be about, but rumors about its announcement had been swirling over the last couple of weeks, with rumors popping up around a cap that NBA star James Harden was wearing.

It turns out that the leads on the rumors weren't wrong, and Activision and Treyarch really were working on a new entry in the highly popular Black Ops series.

The last game from Treyarch came out back in 2015 and set records as the best selling entry in the series thanks to Treyarch taking some liberties with a number of features. The most obvious change was the ability to finally play as a female in the campaign mode -- technically the team added a light character creation to the campaign mode so you could make the main character look the way you wanted.

Another massive change was the fact that the campaign mode wasn't just a single-player game. Up to four players could join in on the campaign mode for the first time. This required Treyarch to expand the game's campaign levels with much wider areas and more opportunities to explore beyond the tiny linear corridors that people had become accustomed to in Call of Duty games.

Another huge change came in the form of the game's actual story. The game wasn't just another linear, patriotic shootfest like many of the other games. Instead the game took a very divergent and introspective examination into bio-psychosis. Due to the game's philosophically oriented story, it both lured in and repelled gamers, leaving them discussing the ending for months on end after its release.

Treyarch really hit a high note with Black Ops 3, and it's going to be hard to top what the team pulled off with that game. It probably would have been best to revive the World at War sub-series, but Activision likely wanted to keep the momentum going with Black Ops. It didn't quite work out in 2016 with the release of Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, which was one of the worst-selling games in recent Call of Duty history, as reported by Forbes. Activision recovered from that fumble with 2017's outing of Sledgehammer Games' Call of Duty: WW2.

We'll find out what direction Treyarch is going in with Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 when it makes a proper debut on May 17th.