Call of Duty Future Warfare leaks lift the lid on axed COD title

According to new leaks and comments from a former dev, Call of Duty Future Warfare was set to be 2013's entry into the series, not COD Ghosts.

Call of Duty Future Warfare: Captain Price with floating Xbox and Playstation logos next to him, with a space station in the background

When it comes to Call of Duty leaks, it’s almost always concerning future content – upcoming crossover events, titles for new games, and the like. However, the most recent high-profile COD leak is all about a game that never saw the light of day. Screenshots and in-engine footage of the scrapped Call of Duty Future Warfare are surfacing online, and an ex-developer has given these leaks credence.

Most lists of the best FPS games ever made will include at least a couple of Call of Duty titles, but 2013’s Call of Duty Ghosts isn’t usually one of them. While it sold fairly well and had some supporters, there’s no doubt it was quite forgettable and not as big a hit with the critics. Well, these new leaks show you what you could have won instead, as Call of Duty Future Warfare was set to be 2013’s annual COD title before it was axed.

As spotted by Charlie Intel, a few users on social media have been sharing screenshots and extended gameplay footage from Call of Duty Future Warfare, which was codenamed NX1. The game was being developed by Neversoft, a now defunct, Activision-owned studio that was merged into Infinity Ward in 2014. Neversoft was the studio behind the Tony Hawk skateboarding games and several entries in the Guitar Hero series as well, but was also a support studio to a handful of Call of Duty games before its demise.

The most interesting material from the leaks is a ten-minute video of a campaign mission set on the Moon. It follows a soldier from the ‘30th Lunar Division’ and takes place on a base in the Moon’s Malapert crater.

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While the gameplay is of course nowhere near what the finished product would’ve looked like, you can certainly see the foundations of the low-gravity gameplay that was found in many Call of Duty games during the 2010’s.

The dump of leaks also reveal some leaked footage from a desert-themed multiplayer map and a map list.

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While it’s rare for leaks of old Call of Duty content and projects to surface, it’s even rarer for developers to weigh in and give extra context and credence to them. Well, that’s exactly what’s happened here. Brian Bright, who worked for Neversoft and, according to him, was the multiplayer lead on Future Warfare, has responded to the leaks with some enlightening information.

“We had 2-3 campaign missions, and a bunch of [multiplayer] work done (I was [multiplayer] lead on this) before cancellation,” Bright says. “One thing we really liked in MP was the first Escort mode in COD.” Yep, Future Warfare was innovating on an escort-the-payload mode way before the debut of Safeguard in Black Ops 3.

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This leak is certainly an interesting one, and shows that despite there being a relentless (and often prescriptive) rhythm to annual Call of Duty releases, things aren’t always straightforward, even for one of the biggest and best multiplayer games series ever. For more COD news, check out how Activision has cut toxicity in half in Modern Warfare 3.