Activision has denied reports it blacklisted websites for failing to remove Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 reports at its request.
Amazon France seemingly outed Black Ops 2's existence last week via a product page that was quickly pulled. At the same time, the unannounced title appeared on computer game artist Hugo Beyer's LinkedIn CV as his current project, before his resume was yanked from the site.
The two stories were first reported in the French media, and Activision is said to have threatened to ban a number of sites from accessing its future titles and media events unless they pulled the articles in question.
Gameblog.fr editor Grégory Szriftgiser told Kotaku: "They tried... to explain they needed us to pull the article, I refused again. They insisted again that it would seriously damage the professional relationship we had, that we weren't fully aware of the consequences this could have, and that they had already contacted their advertising agency.
"I asked if we should consider ourselves blacklisted, and more precisely if my journalist was still to attend a preview event that was planned next week and to which we were already invited. Activision said no. They also made clear that the relationship was to be severed, all advertisement plans cancelled, games not sent, and invitations to later events cancelled as well."
Szriftgiser also said several other media outlets complied with Activision's request to pull their stories. The publisher said in a statement: "Activision doesn't blacklist journalists. We believe this was a misunderstanding and are working towards a resolution."
Either way, it looks like Treyarch's upcoming Call of Duty release could well be a Black Ops follow-up. Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg said earlier this month that this year's series entry will offer "meaningful innovations".