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Call of Duty crossbow yanked from Black Ops Cold War, with unlock progress reset

Activision flipped the switch early by mistake, and players’ grind won’t carry over

Adler in Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War multiplayer holding the Blast Radius Bullfrog skin Image: Treyarch/Raven Software/Activision
Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

Players who seized on the unintended, early availability of a nifty crossbow in Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War multiplayer will see their progress toward unlocking it reset, whenever Treyarch brings it back later.

Though players who bought blueprints for the R1 Shadowhunter for real money (1,200 COD Points, usually acquired for $10) will have their purchases refunded, anyone who was grinding to acquire it will have to start all over, and they’re pretty peeved about it.

“I was at 14/15,” Redditor Xytoup said Thursday evening, after Activision announced it was pulling the weapon from the game. The R1 Shadowhunter was unlocked by getting three one-shot kill medals, in 15 different multiplayer matches, using a weapon with no attachments.

“I will deinstall the game if they don’t save my challenge progress,” Xytoup added. “I’m not joking, they fuck up everything.”

The R1 Shadowhunter Crossbow was found in a bundle beginning March 18, which puzzled players as the latest patch notes made no mention of the weapon or its availability. The Shadowhunter wasn’t usable in Warzone, Call of Duty’s free-to-play battle royale mode, but it was available in Black Ops Cold War multiplayer, and CoD fans got to work unlocking it there.

“I spent the entire afternoon of my free time unlocking the damn thing,” grumbled Trashboat77. “And then started leveling it up. If this doesn’t reflect when it decides to come back, I’m uninstalling the game. No point working to unlock anything or buy anything when it could just get yanked out from under your feet at any time.

“This is absolutely ridiculous,” Trashboat77 continued. “Can’t even fucking reply to the tweet, because they KNOW it’s going to be a shitstorm.”

(Replies to Activision Support are, indeed, limited to users the account mentions.)

Activision hasn’t said when the R1 Shadowhunter will return to the game.