‘Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War’ Yuri Bezmenov teaser divides gamers, supposedly spreads conspiracy theory

A teaser trailer for ‘Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War’ featuring Yuri Bezmenov, a former PGU KGB informant who defected to Canada, has the game's fans divided


                            ‘Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War’ Yuri Bezmenov teaser divides gamers, supposedly spreads conspiracy theory
Yuri Bezmenov (Screengrab/YouTube)

On Wednesday, August 26, Activision, Treyarch, and Raven Software dropped the trailer for their much-anticipated video game ‘Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War’. 

‘Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War’ will reunite players with legendary operatives Alex Mason, Frank Woods, and Jason Hudson as they’re pulled into a high-stakes conspiracy. As the name suggests, it is set in the Cold War era, and the game’s trailer even featured a digital Ronald Reagan. While many seemed excited about the game, some seemed unhappy with the same Cold War trope that has been part of American pop culture for ages now being used again. 

On Thursday, August 27, the gaming news platform Kotaku published a piece titled, “Call Of Duty Trailer Recklessly Promotes Far-Right Conspiracy Theory”. The piece refers to an August 19 teaser trailer for the game that features Yuri Bezmenov, a former PGU KGB informant who defected to Canada.

The teaser refers to Bezmenov’s claims as a “chilling warning,” and asks viewers to “know your history,” as it intersperses stock footage of major world events with a 1984 interview of Bezmenov, who claimed to have been an informant for the KGB before defecting. 



 

During the interview, he describes the Soviet Union’s alleged use of “active measures” that, in theory, are meant to destabilize opponents without direct military conflict by way of changing a society’s power structure and economy. Bezmenov’s suggestion in the full interview, the piece noted, “is that extending equality to the United States’ non-white, non-male population made it ripe for Soviet invasion.”

What more, the interviewer in the footage was reportedly G. Edward Griffin, a far-right filmmaker, author, and conspiracy theorist. The article notes that “in the ‘Call of Duty’ trailer, Activision presents Bezmenov’s words bereft of this important context.”

The piece further expounds upon how the trailer mainstreams Bezmenov, who has over the years said in several interviews that attempts to establish social equity for women, Black people, and the LGBTQIA+ community in the United States was merely a Soviet ploy to weaken American society from within. 

Many gamers seemed unhappy with this piece. This is not the first time gamers have attacked Kotaku for its progressive bent. On Friday, as Kotaku trended on Twitter, gamers talked about the article. One wrote, “What happened? Their game does not fit your narrative?”



 

Another wrote, "That’s an real interview from 1984 with KGB defector Yuri Bezmenov it’s not a right wing conspiracy the guy was legitimate and knew what he was talking about."

 



 

“Kotaku is having a full-on meltdown between the Call of Duty Cold War and the Killer Instinct soundtrack article. It’s time for them to either change their writing/staff or just shut down. They’ve become one completely unreadable and anti gamer #kotaku,” wrote a gamer. 



 

But there were also many who felt the article was justified. One gamer wrote, “Kotaku's trending because all the right-wing snowflakes are pissed Kotaku is criticizing Call of Duty for what they perceive to be the perpetuation of a far-right conspiracy theory. Reminds me of Republican outrage regarding Far Cry 5's 'attack on religion.'”



 

Another wrote, “Have you seen the response from actual fascists to the trailer? They correctly realize that this narrative being unquestionably pushed by the most popular video game series of all time is going to help their ideology spread.”



 

One gamer wrote, “I usually don't like Kotaku like at all, but they're right about this one, the COD trailers so far feature real world footage from a far-right promoter of a conspiracy theory that the west is going to be destroyed by ‘degeneracy’ by giving minorities more rights.”



 

The game is all set to release for PS4, Xbox One, and PC on November 13, 2020. The exact launch date for next-gen platforms is yet to be announced, but the game is said to release on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X in Holiday 2020, "depending on when consoles are available to consumers," according to Activision.

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