But fear not. Official word only means so much in this industry. And the word that came out of the event unofficially was thatnot only arezombies definitely in ,they've defected toCommunism this time. How did I find this out? This is how.
Understandably dismayed by reports such asthis (opens in new tab), I got in touch with Charlie and Nathan (who were both at the multiplayer event) to ask what the hell was going on. What had they been shown? What were the rumours? Why was the bad man saying I couldn't have zombies any more, and could they make him go away before he made me cry? The replies I got were very interesting.
GamesRadar US video ninja Joe McNeilly related the following conversation to me:
Me: Are we going to get to play Commie Zombies tonight?
Treyarch staffer: Ummm...
Me: Oh, have you not announced that yet?
Treyarch staffer: I, uh, I%26rsquo;m not sure that%26rsquo;s in the game. I don%26rsquo;t think there are zombies in this one. (Shifts uncomfortably from foot to foot, looks away.)
Me: ORLY, so we%26rsquo;re not going to get to play it tonght?
Treyarch staffer: No, definitely not.
Really convincing, mercifully un-named Treyarch staffer. Really convincing indeeeed... But there was far bigger news to come.
According to Charlie, our crew shared a car from the airport with aCall of DutyCommunity VIP (one of those lucky swine who get invited along to industry events as a result of putting a lot of effort into the fan community). This VIP was apparently invited to Treyarch HQ in May for a look at Black Ops' campaign. And while there, he saw a Black Ops menu screen. That menu screen had the words 'Commie' and 'zombies' on it. In that order.
Above: More of this sort of thing!
This is getting stupid now. The presence of a new zombies mode has been inferredtime (opens in new tab)andtime (opens in new tab)again, via a graveyard full of different sources. World at War's Nazi zombies mode was the most beloved aspect of the game, and a major factor in Treyarch's image-shift from also-ran filler devs to awesome guys we'd like to go for a pint with. They'd be insane not to reprise it. So why the delay in the announcement?
If it's a case of teasing it out to make the inevitable announcement an even bigger event for fans, then the timing has already been borked. The window of 'just long enough to be exciting' has long-passed, and withso manyleaks and hints already out, we're now well into the realms of 'meh, we know, whatever'. Is Commie zombies running late? Have the new multiplayer modes shown off this week put it on the back burner, forcing a post-launch DLC release? Or, most disturbingly of all, has Activision boss/Emperor Palpatine stand-in Bobby Kotick noticed that zombies are now the big drawof any Treyarch CoD game, and decided to put the mode out separately as paid-for DLC? We have no evidence to suggest that of course, but this is Kotick we're talking about.
What do you reckon? Are you as convinced as we are that zombies are in? And if so, what do you think the delay is all about? Let me know in the comments, or via our warm, cozyFacebook (opens in new tab)andTwitter (opens in new tab)places.