Activision taking legal action against Reddit after CoD Warzone leak

By Steven Rondina


Feb 23, 2020

Reading time: 2 min

Artwork from an expansion to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare was leaked onto Reddit and Activision is not happy about it. Not one bit.

According to court filings obtained by the Hollywood Reporter, the publisher is pressing Reddit to hand over details on the individual who posted the artwork onto the Modern Warfare subreddit. The image showed a number of characters from the game standing around and atop a wrecked helicopter with a watermark for Call of Duty: Warzone.

Call of Duty: Warzone is a battle royale mode for Modern Warfare that is expected to launch in March.

The leak prompted Activision to file a Digital Millennium Copyright Act subpoena against Reddit seeking information on the user who published the image, who has the handle Assyrian2410. This was a precursor to an offensive against other leaked content and footage of Call of Duty: Warzone posted across multiple social media platforms. It is unknown whether legal action is being taken against other individuals who posted the unofficially released content.

“Reddit is the service provider to which the subject of the subpoena, Reddit user Assyrian2410, posted infringing Activision content. The Content infringes Activision’s exclusive rights under copyright law. Specifically, it infringes Activision’s rights in its popular video game Call of Duty: Modern Warfare,” the filing reads.

This continues what has been an uptick in aggression from publishers when combating leaked content.

Epic Games and Activision taking leakers to court

Leaks have become a constant part of the video game news cycle, with information and press assets often popping up on social media through unofficial means. This occurs in different ways, sometimes depending on the game.

Some titles have hidden information in the game files that can either hint at or spoil planned content. These can be somewhat minor, like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive having missions programmed in for weeks in advance, but games like Apex Legends can have major information on upcoming characters packaged into the game years before their actual release.

There are also examples of individuals violating non-disclosure agreements and exploiting privileged access. This was the case with Fortnite Chapter 2, which was leaked shortly after the game’s climactic ending to Season X. Fortnite publisher Epic Games went on to sue the individual who leaked details on Fortnite Chapter 2.

It is unclear how far this case will go along or whether Activision is simply looking to intimidate individuals with unreleased materials. Either way, publishers are clearly getting fed up with people leaking information on their games.