A “creative choice” caused the exclusion of all Activision branding on the latest Call of Duty trailer, following speculation that the company was avoiding linking Call of Duty with their ongoing harassment lawsuit.
The new trailer for Call of Duty: Vanguard debuted last week, but notably without Activision’s branding. Instead of crediting the game to Activision, the trailer instead opens with “Call of Duty presents”, followed by “a Sledgehammer Games production.”
In fact, Activision’s logo is absent from the trailer entirely, not even appearing at the end alongside the Sledgehammer Games and Treyarch logos.
The omission of the Activision branding did not go unnoticed, with many speculating that it is linked to the ongoing lawsuit against the company.
Activision Blizzard is currently being sued by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, who accuse the company of having a ‘frat boy culture’ that has contributed to years of sexual harassment and unequal pay for women at the company.
According to a Bloomberg report, these allegations are the result of a two year investigation into the publisher. The lawsuit claims that women, who make up roughly 20% of the workforce at Activision Blizzard, have been subjected to discrimination in terms of unequal pay, sexual harassment, bullying and retaliation.
The lawsuit is unrelated however, or at least so claims Activision. In a statement to Axios Gaming’s Stephen Totilo, Activision instead claimed it was a “creative choice.”
“Call of Duty has continued to expand into an incredible universe of experiences,” read the statement “This was a creative choice that reflects how Vanguard represents the next major installment in the franchise.”