Some video games are bound to do well. When it comes to a longstanding franchise like “Call of Duty,” that’s especially true. However, the series’ long-awaited battle royale game mode, “Warzone” is surpassing expectations.
Just one month after its launch, the free-to-play game mode has gathered an impressive 50 million players. That figure makes it one of the fastest-growing games both currently on the market and in gaming history.
Activision, the publisher of “Call of Duty: Warzone,” made the announcement on Friday in a tweet.
Over 50 million players.
— Call of Duty (@CallofDuty) April 10, 2020
Somehow, the battle royale game mode actually gained almost as many players in the past two weeks as it did in the two weeks immediately following its launch. At that time, it had 30 million players—a respectable figure in its own right.
However, the fact that “Warzone” has gained another 20 million in the past two weeks is equally impressive. The free-to-play game mode was instantly appealing to owners of “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare,” the paid, full version of the game. It arrived via a software update last month.
For those who don’t already own the popular title, however, “Warzone” is a new way to connect with the franchise. It was released as a standalone download for consoles and PC players. Its free nature, along with the classic mechanics of a “CoD” game, have helped make it an instant success.
Of course, “Warzone” isn’t Activision’s first attempt at a “Call of Duty” battle royale mode. It previously launched “Blackout” within 2018’s “Call of Duty: Black Ops 4.” The addition quickly fizzled out as players leaned into the game’s main multiplayer mode. As such, “Warzone’s” impressive run thus far is a positive sign for both Activision and the franchise.
Dealing with the Competition
At the same time that “Blackout” launched, players were fully obsessed with another battle royale game—“Fortnite.”
The free title from Epic Games has become synonymous with the term battle royale in the past few years. After a blazing fast rise to the top, “Fortnite” has stayed there thanks to its ever-evolving features. Since launching back in 2017 it has amassed a player base of more than 250 million people. That obviously dwarfs the numbers for “Warzone.”
However, the “Call of Duty” battle royale game stacks up closely with “Apex Legends,” another popular title in the genre.
If anything, the success of “Warzone” shows that there is still plenty of room to grow in the battle royale genre. It has introduced some interesting new mechanics, such as the “Gulag” which gives players a chance to fight their way back into a match after being eliminated.
Thanks to its clever design and the backing of a popular franchise, “Warzone” shouldn’t see its growth stop anytime soon. On the contrary, it will likely continue growing as people quarantine at home to stop the spread of the coronavirus. After all, what’s a better way to pass the time than dropping into a battle royale game?