The speculation has ended. Activision has confirmed Call of Duty: Black Ops II for a November 13, 2012, launch for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC. The news comes by way of the official Call of Duty website, which (perhaps too soon) launched a splash page for the new game.
As was previously suspected, Black Ops II will be set in the near future, during a "21st Century Cold War where technology and weapons have converged to create a new generation of warfare."
No specific settings for Black Ops II were revealed, but a still image from a video embedded on the game's website appears to depict the Californian city of Los Angeles in flames. Last week, several global settings for the project were teased, including China, Japan, and Afghanistan.
A Black Ops sequel is less than surprising at this point. The game had already been spotted on French and Spanish retailer websites, and an employee at a contract art studio listed work for Black Ops II on his resume.
Additionally, the information floodgates began pouring out Black Ops II information late last month. In the span of two weeks, retail marketing material revealed the game would be unveiled in early May, with the first images of Black Ops leaking last week alongside box art for the game.
The original Call of Duty: Black Ops remains the most successful Call of Duty game to date, selling more than 25 million copies through August 2011. Last year's Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 initially sold at a faster pace than its predecessor, but failed to make the NPD Group's Top 10 list in March, its fifth month of release. In contrast, Black Ops had become the best-selling game of all time in the US by the March following its debut and cracked the NPD Top 10 for 11 straight months.