Infinity Ward and Treyarch’s Call of Duty franchises have been Mostly separate–till today. With Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, developer Treyarch picks up the narrative it began 10 years ago with the original Black Ops. And while there are other Calls of Duty franchises, including Ghosts, Advanced Warfare, Infinite Warfare, along with also the acclaimed Modern Warfare games, so far the franchises have stayed pretty separate from one another.
The Black Ops story between 1968 and 2025, taking place in 1981. But that still leaves a huge amount of time between the events of the Cold War and Black Ops II, which takes place in the way off in 2025. Back in the Cold War, we get a hint at what might else might fill that gap since the Cold War makes a bridge between the Black Ops matches and Infinity Ward’s rebooted Modern Warfare narrative.
That connection is a character: Imran Zakhaev. If you’re a Modern Warfare fan, that title will sound familiar. Zakhaev is a Russian ultranationalist in the Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare and the 2019 reboot game.
He is the mastermind behind the events of the first game, and although he has killed in both Modern Warfare and the reboot by Captain Price, it’s Zakhaev’s machinations that fuel the rest of the original Modern Warfare trilogy. His son Victor becomes a major antagonist following Imran’s departure.
Now we all know that Modern Warfare, or at least the reboot, takes Place at the exact same deadline as Black Ops 1, 2, and Cold War. At the latter, you participate in a mission that takes them to the headquarters of the KGB. There, they briefly encounter Imran Zakhaev in his role as a Soviet army officer.
Though he’s not a Massive part of the story, Zakhaev’s presence in 1981 serves as a pretty solid tether between the two franchises. And it indicates that, if Infinity Ward proceeds to reboot the whole Modern Warfare trilogy, we might see more connections to Dark Ops.
The rebooted Modern Warfare corrects the series’ original timeline pretty significantly–the original was put in 2011, but the reboot moves up it’s setting to 2019–if this line of thinking proceeds, a rebooted Modern Warfare 2 and 3 will likely overlap Black Ops II’s narrative in 2025. If Infinity Ward and Treyarch really are bridging the two franchises, it seems probable we can see a rebooted Black Ops II retcon the deadline discrepancy.
Then again, this might just be a fun Easter egg, implying a Link between Modern Warfare and Black Ops that doesn’t actually make a lot Of sense–after all, the rest of the Modern Warfare trilogy comprised a Russian Invasion of the US. But if Treyarch and Infinity Ward mean for us to shoot the Zakhaev cameo at face value, It May imply that we’ll see the two franchises Linking together in more ways in the future.