Call Of Duty launches free-to-play battle royale game

10 March 2020, 11:34

An image of a fight scene from Call Of Duty: Warzone
Battle Screen_1. Picture: PA

Call of Duty: Warzone will be free for all PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC users and see more than 100 players compete against one another.

Call Of Duty is to launch its first standalone, free-to-play battle royale game as the series looks to challenge rivals such as Fortnite and Apex Legends.

The game will be released in the UK later on Tuesday.

Publisher Activision said the game is set in the world of Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare, the most recent title in the series, which was released late last year.

Players will compete in teams of three, with up to 150 people taking part in each game.

In recent years, the battle royale genre – where around 100 players compete to be the last person standing inside an ever-shrinking game arena – has become increasingly popular thanks to the rise of other free-to-play titles, most notably Fortnite.

Call Of Duty, one of the biggest-grossing gaming franchises in history, introduced its first battle royale mode within its main Black Ops 4 game in 2018, but players had to buy the full game in order to access it.

In contrast, Warzone is free to download as either an additional section of the Modern Warfare game for those who already own that title or as a standalone download for those who do not.

Modern Warfare owners will be able to download and access Warzone first, from around 3pm on Tuesday in the UK, with others able to access it from 7pm.

Activision has confirmed that a second mode, known as Plunder, will also be a part of the game, where teams compete to collect the most virtual money from the battlefield.

Video games expert and senior editor of news at Pocket-lint.com, Rik Henderson, said the wide availability of such a high-end game could draw a large number of players.

“Call Of Duty: Warzone might be late to the battle royale party but it has the pedigree and, most importantly, the name behind it to potentially rival Fortnite as the biggest free-to-play game around,” he said.

“It’s not the first battle royale game set in the COD universe, of course – that was part of Black Ops 4 – but it is the first to be offered so widely and at no initial cost.

“Where it could differ from certain big-name rivals, however, is in parent approval. While the likes of Fortnite and, to a lesser extent, Apex Legends are cartoonish and hyperreal, COD games have been traditionally seen as more adult and gritty.

“Still, that hasn’t stopped Call Of Duty Mobile gaining an enormous player base amongst the young and old.

“By offering a similar freemium play route as Mobile and its rivals, Warzone could even become the biggest Call Of Duty game yet – and that will be something considering we’re talking about a billion-pound franchise as it is. It could even help drive sales of the next big outing in the series in late 2020.”

By Press Association

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