Activision Yanks Crossbow It Accidently Released Early Even After Players Spent Time Grinding For It [Update]

What Call of Duty giveth, Call of Duty taketh away. Yesterday, a fancy new crossbow went live in Call of Duty: Warzone and Black Ops Cold War by accident, and now players who spent hours trying to unlock it are frustrated that Activision has taken it back out of the game.

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As Eurogamer reports, players discovered the R1 Shadowhunter crossbow in the Warzone shop yesterday, March 18, which was weird because it hadn’t officially been mentioned in the latest patch notes. Players who decided to buy it anyway weren’t able to use it in Warzone but could pull it out and start shooting people with it in Black Ops Cold War’s multiplayer. Others discovered it could be unlocked for free by completing a challenge that required them to get three one-shot kill medals in 15 matches. And so they did, for several hours, until Activision eventually realized it had made a mistake and snatched it back.

The crossbow has been especially powerful in the game’s zombies mode.
Gif: SWE3N3Y

“An issue with the R1 Shadowhunter weapon appearing earlier than planned in Warzone and Black Ops Cold War has been resolved,” the company tweeted from its support account. “Refunds are planned for players who purchased the bundle while it was live in the Store, and the bundle and in-game challenge will return at a later date.”

Tweet comments were, of course, turned off, but that didn’t stop players from expressing their frustration elsewhere. “Rippa to all the ppl who grinded their ass off for the weapon,” wrote one person in a quote-tweet. Others vented on the game’s subreddit. It would be one thing if the crossbow was just being temporarily disabled until it was ready (some players reported its attachments were a bit buggy), but a community manager for Treyarch confirmed on Twitter that unlock progress for the weapon would be reset for everyone even once it’s brought back into the game. Black Ops Cold War is a militarized world of Activision’s making, however, and it could always decide to unlock the weapon for free if it wanted.

The publisher didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment about when the R1 Shadowhunter will officially return.

Update - 3:44 p.m. ET, 3/22/2021: Treyarch announced today that the crossbow will be added back to the game this week on March 24. Here’s what it includes:

The centerpiece of the bundle is the “Lancehead” Weapon Blueprint, which is built for a truly legendary archer. Also included in this Bundle is the “Medieval Archer” animated Emblem, “Olde Time Sniper” Sticker, and the “Stolen Idol” Charm that can be affixed to the crossbow or the more modern ranged weapons in your inventory.

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Players who already unlocked it previously will still have to grind for it again.

Kotaku staff writer. You can reach him at ethan.gach@kotaku.com

DISCUSSION

The frustration is understandable, but 3 sniper rifle kills over 15 matches will take a little time, but def not something that should be considered “grinding your ass off”