Call of Duty Black Ops 4 has been a call back to form for the series by developer Treyarch and one of the driving forces for that has been their instantly successful take on Battle Royale with Blackout.
Unlike it’s main competitor Fortnite, the mode isn’t free and monetized by micro-transactions. It’s locked into a $60 purchase… with added micro-transactions for good measure. PUBG costs $30 but overall is a larger package than Blackout having multiple maps and modes.
Blackout also has something neither competitor has: A deadline. The Call of Duty series is annual and each November the next big title comes out and takes all of publisher Activision’s attention. For a Battle Royale to flourish, or even just survive it needs to be an ever evolving game as a service.
Perhaps the concept is being tested out as Blackout will be free to play on every platform for the week of January 17th -24th in what they are promoting as a great way to get any friend into the game to play. Now free play weeks aren’t unheard of but with a game like Blackout you have to assume more is at play.
Inevitably Blackout has to outlive Black Ops 4 – It’s the path to be taken that is yet to be revealed.