An unlockable hidden mode accessible with a few top secret button press combinations? No, I’m not talking about Contra, I’m talking about the reemergence of Warzone, a mode that previously appeared in all three Gears of War releases, in Gears of War: Judgment.

According to Eurogamer, several savvy gamers (one of which posted to the NeoGAF forums) have been taking advantage of some very specific controller commands to unlock a fully playable version of Warzone in Judgment.

Here’s how you do it:

1) Boot up the game and choose Private Match.
2) Highlight Team Death Match and press A.
3) When the next prompt appears press A and B at the same time.
4) It will then tell you that you are about to start your math and ask you if you want to continue. Hit A again.

That should get you up and going with Warzone mode, but how exactly did this happen and what does it mean for the future of Warzone on the official front? Epic Games Senior Multiplayer Programmer, Peter Knepley, responded to a fan on twitter who first pointed out the bug and asked what it all meant:

“thanks for the heads up, was easier to leave warzone refs than rip out, it’s not the polished Execution of April 2nd” -@PeteNub

We reached out to Epic Games directly asking for specific confirmation that Warzone was not one of the two yet-to-be-announced modes slated for release as part of the Judgment paid DLC offerings, and we were told that was “correct.”

Should we worried about Epic Games patching away our access to it? This was the response we got:

“There isn’t any current plan to yank it out, it’s just not an optimal play experience.”

So why not just make it optimal and release it to us? We asked about potential plans for that as well, and this is what we were told:

“We have no current plans to officially add Warzone to Judgment. We never say never, but it’s really unlikely.”

As a long time fan of the Warzone mode in Gears multiplayer this news is quite upsetting, and the reasoning behind it may be little more than a numbers game. A follow up tweet on the subject, by Peter Knepley, states that “execution is way more popular than warzone.”

Popularity contest or not, I find it hard to see why they can’t clean up a mode that already exists on disc and give us access to it officially, but maybe that’s why I write about games while other people with far fatter wallets than I make them.

Those looking for an official new mode addition to Gears of War: Judgment will have to wait for the free Maxim sponsored return of Execution mode on April 2nd. This will also mark the return of the series trademark “Down But Not Out” feature.

Update 3/29: Epic Games and Microsoft have moved the release of the Maxim pack up from April 2nd. You can download it for free right now.