The Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 rumor mill is well and truly running. NBA star James Harden sported a Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 branded hat ahead of the game between Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder and GameStop merchandise listings also revealed that there will be various pieces of Black Ops 4 memorabilia for fans of the upcoming game to collect.
Just to add fuel to the speculation, though, even more publications have stepped forward claiming to have spoken to sources confirming that the game really is in development. A report from Kotaku‘s Jason Schreier reveals that not only is the logo on Harden’s hat the official branding for the game, but that Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 will take place in a “near-future setting.”
The suggestion that Black Ops 4 will be a near-future set game may sound alarm bells for some fans. Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare received huge backlash for deciding to take its action to space, fully embracing a futuristic vision. While previous rumors about Black Ops 4 suggested that the game will be more grounded (thus avoiding the same, space-faring pratfalls), some will still have concerns that the development team at Treyarch will fail to balance out classic Call of Duty action with innovative, modern inventions.
The game’s setting aside, there are still lots of questions about Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 that have yet to be answered by these leaks. One such question is whether the game will be available on the Nintendo Switch, as suggested by some rumors. Activision did pledge support for the console even before the Switch sold in massive numbers (and had yet to prove itself) and the publisher is also rumored to be bringing the Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy to Nintendo Switch this year as well. It’s quite possible that the publisher will want to bring its major first-person shooter franchise to the console too.
Another question is whether James Harden himself will be featured in the game. The Call of Duty franchise is no stranger to including famous athletes (including Marshawn Lynch) and could Harden be about to follow in their footsteps? Fans may argue that a cameo is the least that Treyarch and Activision could offer the NBA star given that Harden got everyone talking about the game just by wearing a hat. In any case, it looks like Activision and Treyarch are about to lift the lid on this one soon. Watch this space for an official Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 announcement.