To understand what Call of Duty: Warzone players are calling the “Harry Potter meta,” a phenomenon in which vehicles take to the sky and rain hellfire upon the Earthbound, we must first revisit a fairly innocuous moment on Twitch that took place last September. Kalei Renay, a recent member of FaZe Clan (she joined in June), took to her Twitter account to make a joke, which she probably then forgot about a few hours later. Here it is:
Because the internet moves with the same velocity as Elon Musk envisions his automated hyperloop transit system despite the reality, strangers answered the call within a few days. Hackers were able to launch vehicles into the sky, giving them what you might call the high-ground. The result? A full, unfiltered view of the map and the ability to lock onto other players.
The “Harry Potter Meta” first occurred within Warzone’s Verdansk map (the original setting for the battle royale game) and was promptly corrected. Now, four months after the fact, the flying car issue is rearing its head again on Caldera.
Quality Control — Is it a coincidence that bugs and other technical issues are plaguing the Warzone experience around the same time that quality assurance testers have been given the boot by Raven Software, one of the developers behind the massive shooter? A number of QA contractors were terminated in December, which partly resulted in the establishment of a strike fund, organized by former and current Activision staffers. Since then aimbots, broken loading screens, and extended queue times have run rampant for users.
There’s something fitting about the absurdity of sky-dwelling SUVs, ruining the playing experience for Warzone players. After all, the game is published by Activision, a company that has been in the news for not only one of the largest entertainment acquisitions of all time but a shocking level of corporate malfeasance.
As the culture of a company run by an absolute gremlin of a man has been revealed to be a rotting corpse, it makes sense that the product starts to twist and bend as well. In all likelihood, though, the bugs will be cleaned up, Microsoft will embark upon its mission to become the Netflix of gaming, and Bobby Kotick will emerge from everything even wealthier.
All we can do is laugh at the little blips along the way.