Call Of Duty Blackout, the battle royale portion of Black Ops 4, was moderately successful, never reaching the heights of other battle royale games due to players needing to own Black Ops 4 to play it. Instead, Activision took a new approach and made Call Of Duty Warzone completely free to play, which has helped the game become one of the biggest games in the world right now. Warzone is still tied into the Modern Warfare game, but it isn’t required to play.
Because of it, during the second quarter of 2020, the hours played increased eight fold year on year. On PC, the hours played were double Black Ops 4, showing Activision that free to play is the right direction for a battle royale game, especially when plenty of great free to play BRs exist, such as Fortnite and Apex Legends. Revenue also hit a new record, increasing by five from last year due to the game’s battle passes, Call Of Duty points, premium store purchases etc.
Activision also announced that over 75 million players are now playing Call Of Duty Warzone, and with a new Call Of Duty game coming later this year, Activision will not be abandoning Warzone and will make it tie into the next game. It is likely it will remain free to play, but progression will then be tied to the new game, perhaps in addition to Modern Warfare.
During an interview with GamesRadar, Infinity Ward design director Geoff Smith discussed how the game will be tied into future titles:
Although Warzone is very closely tied to Modern Warfare, it was designed from the beginning as its own game. As the game continues to be updated over time, it will evolve and become tied to other games in the Call of Duty universe.”
As of right now, there has been no reveal of the next Call Of Duty game; usually the game has been revealed by now, but with a big focus on Warzone and the current global pandemic, it is understandable that things have been delayed. The game will likely be revealed soon and also announced for the Playstation 5 and Xbox Series X, in addition to PC, PS4 and Xbox One.