The Call of Duty series looks to be returning to Steam, at least if you choose to take this bizarre leak a certain way. When Activision recently announced Modern Warfare 2 as a sequel to 2019's game, the publisher did not confirm it for any particular platform.
But there's little chance the game is going to skip the PC. What this leak may have cast in doubt, however, is which storefront the new Call of Duty is going to be available for purchase on.
Modern Warfare 2 launches October 28, but pre-orders have yet to open up on any platform. In other words, official store pages do not yet exist. So far, so business as usual, except for the fact that the game looks to be coming to Steam.
Over on Reddit, user Kalinine spotted a suspicious banner promoting the Call of Duty franchise on Steam. More specifically, this art could be briefly seen when browsing the Call of Duty DLC page. As you’re about to see, however, the banner doesn't use the original Modern Warfare 2 art, it uses the refreshed 2021 look (thanks, Garysplay).
In the background, we can see Simon "Ghost" Riley, sporting his updated Modern Warfare 2019 character design... and the colours and highlights used to promote this year's game. Ghost has, of course, featured in several Call of Duty games you can currently buy on Steam - but not this modern Ghost.
Naturally, this sparked speculation that Activision may be about to bring Call of Duty back to Steam - starting with Modern Warfare 2. In 2018, Activision decided to no longer release Call of Duty games on Valve's storefront, opting to make them exclusive to Blizzard's Battle.net app - which it fully owns.
While this is far from official confirmation, the move isn't entirely unthinkable. Activision's imminent $69 billion acquisition by Microsoft may have changed priorities a little for the company. Other major publishers, such as EA, recently embraced Steam once more, after having abandoned it a decade prior.
Valve is happy to allow third-party launchers on Steam, so we could be looking at a future where Battle.net remains Call of Duty's launcher, except that the game will be available for purchase on Steam.
Regardless of its implications, this particular leak is nevertheless amusing. Since Activision decided to give its rebooted Modern Warfare series the same name as the originals, everyone has been lamenting how confusing this is going to make things, especially considering that remasters for the first two games in the series already exist.
It seems likely that the person responsible for putting together materials for the store simply messed up, and accidentally used art for the new Modern Warfare 2 to promote the old Modern Warfare 2 - a self-own that perfectly illustrates the point.