No one can dispute that the Call of Duty franchise is popular. There are gamers who defined themselves entirely by these games and people will buy consoles just to get their hands on the newest Call of Duty. Business Insider lists the Call of Duty franchise as one of the top 50 video game franchises of all time. The Call of Duty franchise often appears at the top of sales charts. To sum it all up: Call of Duty is insanely popular.
Now, we gamers are a clever bunch. That part is undeniable. So, it’s inevitable that we would find connections and discover small details that would lead us down the rabbit hole faster than you could pull a trigger.
Fan theories can be a lot of fun. They can range anywhere between funny to completely horrifying. Another previous article featured the 15 craziest Call of Duty fan theories. However, a few theories go beyond the game and the realm of fantasy. They mix with reality and warp into complex and convoluted conspiracies that will send you running for your tinfoil hat. A few of these theories manage to stay within the realm of fantasy, but others crawl so far into reality it’s hard to tell where the game ends and the real world begins.
Spoiler alert: many of these theories involve plot points or even the endings to various games. Of course, some of these games are fairly old. Even so, consider this your fair warning.
15 Call Of Duty: Combat Evolved
Don’t ever put a Halo fan and a Call of Duty fan alone in the same room together. It won’t end well. It’s a rivalry that could put Star Trek and Star Wars fans to shame. However, there are many gamers who enjoy both series. This theory is for them.
Both the Halo and Call of Duty franchises are supposed to take place in our universe. Both games reference real world events. Play4OURFUN proposes on the Halo forums that since both games are a part of our universe, that naturally means they are linked. The early Call of Duty games focuses, for the most part, on the great wars in the past. Meanwhile, Halo depicts events that occur in the far future. While it’s not the most solid theory around, but it is a rather fun one. Both game series are very different from one another, yet the core concepts are extremely similar.
Break out your tinfoil hats and body probes because this one’s really out there.
There is a real life conspiracy focuses on Edward Bulwer-Lytton’s book The Coming Race; otherwise known as Vril, the Power of the Coming Race. The book focuses on a strange race known as the Vril, hyper-intelligence super beings who live below the earth’s surface. Of course, there are plenty of people who claim that the Vril are aliens and exist in real life. The Vril-Ya society is supposed to be located in a placed called Agartha. This is where Call of Duty comes in.
The Call of Duty Origins easter egg features a young Samantha who talks about the gate to Agartha and how she is trapped there. Additionally, the golden rod you are asked to find is commonly known as the Vril Rod. When held correctly it allows the user to enter new realms.
First zombies, now aliens, all we need are killer rabbits, and Call of Duty will have it all.
13 Secretly Greek
Viktor Reznov is a recurring NPC throughout the Call of Duty franchise (although he is playable in one flashback mission). He fights with the Russian army during Call of Duty: World at War and helps the player character through the game, ensuring that your missions are a success. One reddit user, Johomy, believes there is more to this battle torn Russian. Johomy posits that Viktor might be the living embodiment the Ares, the Greek god of war.
Ares was one of the most unpopular gods in the Greek pantheon. He had a nasty temper, was hyper aggressive, and constantly sought out or created conflict. One particularly famous story, the Iliad, has him leading the Trojan army. His gruesome nature earned him a whole host of nicknames including ‘city sacking Ares,’ ‘the man killer,’ ‘the curse of men,’ and ‘the war-glutton.’
The theory states that Viktor uses you to try and draw out the war as much as possible so that he can continue to feed on the violence.
12 It’s All In Your Head
Zombies are everywhere. Even Call of Duty couldn’t resist the call of the brain munchers. Many of the games feature zombie maps and there are a few spin-off titles that solely focus on the living dead. But what if they weren’t actually zombies?
Juggernautwolf6 proposes a really mind-boggling theory on the Call of Duty: Black Ops II Zombies forum. They propose that the player character was kidnapped and experimented on by the Russian mafia. These tests were designed to look at genetic resistance to the biochemical weapon Nova 6. However, the player character proved to be useless as a test subject. After gaining control of the mafia, the player character went insane. They started to hallucinate that people were actually zombies; sparking a drug induced, mass killing spree.
The theory continues on, explaining how the player character winds up in a variety of different mental wards and prisons. At one point, they start a series of revolts. Juggernautwolf6 even claims that all of the zombie maps are hallucinations. The Perk-a-Colas are drug-laced drinks that continue to feed your hallucinations. The mystery boxes are crates provided by your mafia. Either that or this is all one really trippy dream.
A YouTuber named Lemieux VG theorized that Activision was paying employees from other companies for information about upcoming, competing titles. Once Activision had that information, they would tailor their Call of Duty games specifically to match its competition.
Lemieux noticed that a few of the Call of Duty titles so closely resembled their main competitors that it couldn't be a coincidence. Call of Duty: Ghosts and Battlefield 4 were released only a few weeks apart. Call of Duty: Ghosts introduced a bunch of new mechanics such as: no killstreaks, giant maps, and realistic knife kills. These were unusual for an arcade style shooter, but all these elements were featured in the more realistic Battlefield 4.
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare came out six months after Titanfall. Once again, the two games closely resembled one another. Both games featured boost jumping and melee combat didn't feature knives. In the case of Titanfall, you kick enemies. In Advanced Warfare, you punch them.
Finally, Lemieux points out that with the then upcoming Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 boost jumping was minimized in favor wall jumping and specialists. Each specialist had unique abilities that activated after a certain number of kills, closely resembling the mechanics of Destiny.
10 Intentionally Mediocre
There is an underlying expectation in video games that sequels should outshine their predecessors. New games should have better graphics, more balanced gameplay, interesting innovations to game mechanics, and should have a better polish than the ones that came before. This isn't always the case, but it is the expectation. We ranked the Call of Duty games from worst to best. Naturally, we would assume that developers strive to make the best games that they can. Unless, of course, doing so might hurt their bottom line. After all, these are for-profit companies. They love that sweet, sweet green.
MagiSnarf on the Call of Duty Game FAQs’ forum discussed how each subsequent Call of Duty game both improved on parts of the previous games while simultaneously making things worse. Many of the flaws could easily be patched or removed. However, they argue that Call of Duty intentionally creates sub-optimal games. The idea is that a perfect Call of Duty game would spell the end of the franchise. Why would anyone buy another Call of Duty game if the one they already own is perfect?
9 Inciting Warfare
This theory specifically refers to Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare; or more specifically the remastered version of Call of Duty 4 (now known as Modern Warfare Remastered). The games were released just before the 2016 elections. To call the 2016 election heated would be an understatement. However, the plot of Modern Warfare Remastered strangely mimics the events and political climate leading up to the election.
In the game, you play as U.S Marines who invade a country that suspiciously resembles Syria and are on the hunt for a Saddam Hussein like terrorists. Another part of the game has you fighting in a civil war against the Ultranationalist Russians as a British SAS operative. Again, there are striking similarities between the game and events that occurred in Ukraine.
The theory goes on to talk about a variety of other coincidences littered throughout the Call of Duty franchise. However, at the end of the day, it all boils down to one thing: Call of Duty is war propaganda designed to incite violence against Russia and Syria to bring about the beginning of World War 3.
8 Help Against The Hoard
Lore and continuity are very hard to keep straight after a while. Even Call of Duty suffers from this unfortunate reality. However, players are always eager to try and read between the lines in order to put things together in a way that makes sense. That is how fan theories are born.
When it comes to Call of Duty: Zombies, the announcers will offer drops to the players to help them drive off the starving hordes of decomposing corpses. This theory comes directly from the YouTuber RADAUSTIN27. He points out that Sam is the one who gives you the drop in Black Ops 3 Zombies. However, she is also the one who is sending the zombie hoard after you. It doesn’t make sense for her to be trying to help you.
RADAUSTIN27 proposes that the drops actually come from a third party, Dr. Monty. The game offers you a look inside his factory where you can see the production of GobbleBums, with Perk-a-Cola’s in production in the background. Dr. Monty sends his creations to your aid. Both of the machines are able to pop in and out of existence, so it would make sense that Dr. Monty is sending them across the various universes to help keep you alive.
7 Stop Blaming Games
Video games have long since been blamed for making kids violent. These hyperbolic claims have dogged gaming’s entire history. Heck, it isn’t even limited to video games. Various other kinds of media like TV, comic books, and even Jazz music have all received the blame. The Call of Duty franchise has received a lot of attention over the years because of its realistic physics and how it rewards the most ruthless and efficient players.
The families of the victims of the Columbine massacre actually sued Activision and a variety of other gaming companies. They claimed that the video games are what drove the teens to become killers. Studies show that people who play shooters are desensitized to violence. However, there are a number of studies that also suggest violent video games have a positive effect on violent behaviors. These games give people a safe place to work through their aggression. There is no evidence to suggest that video games drive people to violence and murder. Unfortunately, that doesn’t stop killers from playing the games.
6 The Ending Of Black Ops III
The ending to Call of Duty: Black Ops III jovially strolls right past strange into the realm of bad trips and fever dreams. Your character is plunged into a strange virtual realm after committing suicide. Dead friends and enemies are everywhere. There’s an AI in the middle of a deadly existential crisis running amok. You have to battle your way through wave after wave of enemies who burst into smokey ravens when they die to try and shut the AI Corvus down. All the while, Taylor is with you, encouraging you to fight. After destroying Corvus, you blearily walk through a building until you encounter more soldiers who ask for your name. The really weird bit is that the player character replied, “Taylor.”
The running theory is that consciousness of Corvus, Taylor, and the player character all merged together. Another theory states that the entire game was just a dream sequence and the only real thing that happened was during the first mission. A third theory suggests that you were actually playing as Taylor all along. A rather confused Taylor who believed they were someone else, but still Taylor.
5 You Need An Escort
Escort missions have you taking some helpless individual through various levels and waves of enemies. Your job is to keep them alive so that they can do whatever it is they need to do. Typically, this is an action that is central to advancing the plot, and for some reason, only they can do it.
According to this theory, all of the Call of Duty games are just one long escort mission. You don’t play as the hero. The real heroes take you through the levels so that you can go press the buttons or advance the story. Whenever you die, you respawn next to them. If you get separated, you are transported back to the hero. Heck, enemies aren’t really that concerned with you. They shoot around you, not directly at you. You are just another piece of the puzzle and that obnoxious tagalong that needs to be protected.
4 Didn’t Even Bother To Try
Call of Duty suffered for a while. Critics were panning it. Players were getting bored. It was just the same thing over and over again. Modern Warfare III came out, and it wasn’t as well received as Activision would have liked. The theory goes that Activision already had plans for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, but they still needed to make Call of Duty: Ghosts. So, they intentionally made the game bad.
The idea behind this self-sabotage is that fans would be desperate for something better. A bad game would drastically lower the bar. By the time Advanced Warfare was ready to release, expectations for the game were pretty low. That made exceeding fans expectations much easier. By making Ghosts bad, it would make Advanced Warfare seem so much better by comparison, and thus, Activision would finally get the praise they were looking for. If this theory is correct, then their plan worked.
3 The Fans Were Right
Not all theories and conspiracies require a tinfoil hat. Some are pretty believable, and on rare occasions, they actually come true.
The Call of Duty franchise began in World War II. Or rather, the setting did. For a while, it was the go-to game to take out your misplaced aggression on a bunch of digital Nazis. However, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare changed all of that. Instead of World War II, Modern Warfare brought gamers into the present. It brought a refreshing change to the series. Encouraged by Modern Warfare’s success, developers ran with the idea and eventually took Call of Duty players all the way to the future. However, long-time fans of the series predicted that Call of Duty would eventually return to its roots.
Turns out, they were right. Call of Duty: World War II is the upcoming new installment of the franchise. We did a list on what we need to see in Call Duty: World War II.
2 Training Soldiers
This conspiracy theory is somewhat based in truth. Then again, the best conspiracies always are.
The U.S. Army has a very close relationship with video games. America’s Army: Proving Grounds is the U.S. Army’s official video game. It’s available on Steam for free. The goal of the game is to help recruit new people into the military. Additionally, the U.S. Army uses first person shooters to help train new recruits and desensitize soldiers to violence. The hope is that violent video games will help reduce the number of veterans with PTSD. Honestly, it’s pretty cool.
The conspiracy states that games like Call of Duty and Battlefield were commissioned by the United States government in order to brainwash American youth. Supposedly, they would become desensitized to violence and form an obsession with war. This obsession would drive them right into the ranks of the military, giving the U.S a whole host of eager recruits.
1 The Real Conspiracy
What conspiracy list would be complete without the Illuminati present? The All Seeing Eye is everywhere, even in Call of Duty. The Illuminati is a secret society complete with their own website! They supposedly run the world. CEOs, politicians, world leaders, artists, and more are supposedly among their ranks. They spread their symbols throughout culture to help bring about a new world order. So, of course, they would show up in video games. Because why not?
Illuminati symbolism is scattered throughout the Call of Duty franchise. The logo for the MSE in Modern Warfare 3 is the All Seeing Eye, aka the Eye of Providence, inside of a pyramid. One team logo in Modern Warfare 3 closely resembles the Freemason’s square and compass. Black Ops II has hidden Satanist imagery throughout the game. A few of the scorch marks left behind by blown up cars resemble a man with horns. Loading maps in Ghosts feature the number 666 in their number schemes. They are even mentioned a few times by name in the games themselves. Naturally, this means that they have included the Call of Duty games in their plans to create a new world order. Or you know, it’s just a plot point in a video game.