The official Call of Duty Black Ops: Cold War teaser trailer has since been edited to remove footage of the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989 (via CBR.com).
The trailer opens with an interview with Soviet defector Yuri Bezmenov, who describes the Soviet Union’s modus operandi for undermining the United States. Then, a number of clips of conflicts from the 1960s and 1970s are shown, like the Viet Nam War, communist rallies in the United States, and the Tiananmen Square protests in Beijing. However, the trailer has drawn considerable criticism from mainland Chinese citizens for this very brief clip of the protests. Some claimed that the use of the protest footage was developers Raven Software and Treyarch’s deliberate attempt to instigate political tension through the marketing of Call of Duty Black Ops: Cold War.
The trailer was then blocked in China. As a result, an edited trailer was released, which replaced the footage with a blank, black screen, though the audio of the clip was kept. It is theorised that the Communist Party of China was heavily critical of the trailer because it believes it may provoke unrest, due to the similarities between that historical period and present day, such as the occurrence of natural disasters and a sluggish economy.
The Tiananmen Square protests is one of the most sensitive and most widely censored topics in China, and is in fact referred to through alternative names like May 35th, VIIV, Eight Squared, and 8964. Condemning corruption within the Communist Party and asking for freedom of the press and of speech, the State Council reacted to these protesters by initiating martial law. On June 4, 1989, hundreds to thousands were killed by troops and tanks, with thousands of people wounded inside and outside Tiananmen Square. The exact death toll has never been officially stated, owing to the suppression of information surrounding the event by the state.
In Modern Warfare, the story draws inspiration from the historic “Highway of Death” attack by American, Canadian, British and French aircraft and ground forces against retreating Iraqi military personnel in 1991. In the game, Russian soldiers are responsible for the fictional attack on an area with a similar name to the real place, rather than the American-led coalition. Resultantly, the game was criticised for historical revisionism.
A full reveal of Call of Duty Black Ops: Cold War is set for August 26, where we will presumably learn more about its premise and possible gameplay. The game will launch in 2020.
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