Artwork for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 has briefly appeared on Steam, fuelling speculation that Activision’s massive FPS series could be returning to Valve’s storefront with its next release.
The Modern Warfare 2 art was spotted by Reddit user u/Kalinine (opens in new tab) on a banner image advertising the Call of Duty franchise. It featured series regular Ghost and appeared to be the same image that Activision used (opens in new tab) to tease the upcoming shooter's release date.
The banner has since been edited to remove the errant image, although not before u/Kalinine had captured and uploaded it to Reddit. If you now head to a Steam page featuring the banner, such as the Black Ops 3 DLC page (opens in new tab), you’ll see a blank version at the bottom.
Its brief appearance has fueled speculation that Call of Duty will be returning to Steam with the release of Modern Warfare 2. The series stopped appearing on the platform after the launch of 2017’s Call of Duty: WWII, with every title from Black Ops 4 onwards releasing on Activision’s Battle.net PC client.
The artwork has certainly raised a few eyebrows, but it by no means guarantees that Modern Warfare 2 will be hitting Valve’s storefront when it releases later this year. While its appearance could be taken as an early sign that Activision is reversing Call of Duty’s Battle.net exclusivity, it’s just as likely the image appeared in error. A graphic designer at Activision HQ might have simply pulled from the wrong asset pile.
Call of Duty’s return to Steam would be no minor event. The franchise continues to draw in huge numbers of players, with the latest installment, Call of Duty: Vanguard, ranking among the top-ten most-played games of this year. If the main series makes its way back to Valve’s storefront, battle royale spin-off Warzone might follow suit, too.
It won’t be long before we know for sure. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 is expected to hit shelves on October 28. We’ve seen very little of the game so far, outside of a live-action reveal trailer (opens in new tab), the game’s logo, and the Ghost teaser image. In another tweet (opens in new tab), developer Infinity Ward also revealed Task Force 141 will take a starring role in the game, reintroducing us to the likes of John Price, Kyle 'Gaz' Garrick, 'Soap' MacTavish, and Colonel Alejandro Vargas.