October 21, 2021

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We talked to the British Museum about the logo for Call of Duty: Black Ops 4

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Last month Eurogamer reported that the next Call of Duty would be a return to the Black Ops series, making it Black Ops 4. This week it emerged that the game’s logo would be a stylised IIII.

This last part unleashed, if not a tidal wave, then at least a bracing, frothy surf of Twitter smugness. Didn’t Activision know that the Roman numerals for four is IV? It’s not Star Wars: Episode IIII is it? Ice-T didn’t call one of his albums IIII. (Okay, so I have just googled this and he didn’t call it IV, either. He called it VI. Full name: Ice-T VI: Return of the Real. It’s a banger. Also, nobody mentioned Ice-T on Twitter – I simply needed a second flippant example to make this paragraph work and I chose poorly.)

Jeez! Some fans apparently leapt into action by suggesting that the IIII does in fact represent tally marks, of the kind you are required to scratch onto the wall of your cell if you are a prisoner in a montage constructed to show the passage of time. The thing is, though, those IIIIs on Call of Duty don’t look like tally marks. They don’t really look like very much beyond the cow-catcher on an old steam train – but they at least sort of look like Roman numerals.

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