The U.S. Army reportedly planned a massive recruiting plan through Call of Duty but backed out after allegations surfaced against Activision.
USSA Insurance is a Call of Duty League sponsor, and the U.S. Army was a sponsor before allegedly cutting ties amid the Activision Blizzard Lawsuit. An ongoing debate in the CoD community is if recruiting CoD players into the military is morally ethical.
Esports consultant Rod ‘Slasher’ Breslau appeared on NBC’s NewsNation and claimed, “I find it insidious that these streamers are recruiting gamers and young people on Twitch under the guise of just playing video games, but they are really there as recruiters.”
He denied any correlation between violent video games and military service. Adding fuel to the fire, internal documents obtained by Motherhood and corroborated by Vice speculate the U.S. Army planned to reach Gen-Z viewers through Call of Duty.
US Army scrap extensive Gen-Z recruitment strategy
According to the documents obtained by Motherboard, the Army allocated $750,000 for the Call of Duty League and Halo tv show.
The leak also revealed that the Army intended to spend $200,000 on sponsoring CoD Mobile, including rewarding in-game currency to players who watched Army ads.
Rumors also suggested the Army wanted to target Gen Z viewers by partnering with Warzone streamers. $150,000 was allocated for Stonemountain 64, who has 2.32 million YouTuber subscribers, and Swagg was mentioned. The streamer has 2.66 million subscribers on YouTuber, but an asterix was next to his name, meaning the Army may have looked to reallocate funds based on conversations with him.
$300,000 was also reportedly allocated to the CoD esports organization OpTic Chicago. The documents stated one motivation behind the partnership was to “continue to familiarize OpTic fans on Army values and opportunities.”
Other parts of the report mentioned partnerships with Twitch, HBCU Showdown, WWE, and LoopMe, totaling $3.8 million in all for everything mentioned.
None of the plans were put into motion because an August 2021 email read, “At this time, we intend to ‘pause all activities’ immediately with Activision due to serious allegations of sexual harassment at their workplace.”
We will provide an update if we learn more about the legitimacy of all leaked documents.