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The Modern Warfare 2 marketing machine is in full swing

There are two things I’ve come to expect from each new major Call of Duty release: blistering next-gen graphics and a wicked marketing campaign. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II (COD MW2) has not disappointed in the slightest.

This week, Activision and MW2 dev Infinity Ward, fired on all cylinders with aggressive platform marketing. It included exceptional billboard and visual advertising campaigns, viral videos, player incentives, early access, and a flurry of influencer buzz.

The situation:

The Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II marketing machine is a force to be reckoned with. After the world gameplay reveal trailer debuted on Jun. 8, 2022, the bulk of the campaign ramped up to a pinnacle over the past few weeks.

The new installment is littered with iconic Captain Price references, as usual, and features a heavy focus on visual effects, cutting-edge graphics, and hype for the one-two combo of Modern Warfare and Warzone.

There is a distinct focus and life-cycle that shows Activision and Infinity Ward are intent on making sure players experience all their hard work – from the campaign, into multi-player and on to the billion-dollar-earning Warzone experience.

The details:

The campaign schedule is laid out over the staggered release of the game in its completion:
⦁ Early Access (Full Campaign) Launch – Oct. 20, 2022
⦁ Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II Full Game Launch – Oct. 28, 2022
⦁ Warzone 2 Battle Royale Season Launch – Nov. 16, 2022

This seems intentionally paced to give players time to complete, and possibly direct, the experience through each stage of the rollout. After all, given the amount of time, effort, and money that always goes into COD, wouldn’t you want your players to make time to smell the virtual roses?

Modern Warfare 2 mission
Image by Infinity Ward

And so they should. In what Variety called a ‘viral video’ a full video showcasing the fourth mission in the campaign (spoilers) was released this weekend showing Amsterdam in “indistinguishable realism” from the real thing. Those roses are true-to-life and the showcase of the new engine that MW2 is built on shows amazing promise.

The cleverly-timed video release dropped in the middle of the Early Access full campaign weekend and amassed hundreds of millions of impressions over the first two days alone. Almost one month to the day after Nvidia’s campaign rollout for its new, forthcoming RTX 40 series video cards. Convenient indeed.

In addition, out-of-home (billboard, signage, etc) advertising launched with a literal ‘paint the town’ approach to getting the word out. Times Square was lit up with amazing 3D holo-style billboard treatments. Naturally, you expect to see sites, feeds, channels, and streams commandeered by the multi-million-dollar CoD marketing machine during the campaign schedule.

What does it mean for gamers:

Of course, this campaign is geared towards guiding players through great content, in-game items, achievements, and more. I suggest leaning into Infinity Ward’s planned progression of the game rollout. Enjoy the campaign in its breathtaking beauty. Collect those character and weapon skins for this first week for Price, Gaz, Ghost, and the crew.

Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 missions
Image by Infinity Ward

They clearly are gearing the marketing/launch cycle to push players through the game in these stages, so why fight it? Then, when the full game launches, brush up your skills and earn further unlocks from Oct. 28 – Nov. 15 with new multiplayer maps and experiences until Warzone 2 launches on Nov. 16.

From there, keep your eye on Warzone’s new Tarkov-esque loot extraction mode with DMZ – slated to launch with Warzone 2. I’d expect Warzone’s 2.0 launch to be flush with streamer partnerships (remember those exclusive ‘streamer-inspired’ character skins), drops, and more.

Oh, and it’s a fair bet to assume that every site, feed, and content piece you experience in the next three weeks will be painted from top to bottom with COD: MW2 hype.

See you in the lobby!

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Brad is a lifelong gamer, 12 year veteran of the gaming and esports marketing industry and owner/founder of where his passion for the business of gaming takes form. As a writer, Twitch and Instagram influencer and industry professional, Brad has produced bylines and content work for Walmart Gaming, SQUAD and Northern Arena to name a few.
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