Black Ops 4 Battle Royale Mode – How Will It Play Out

Black Ops 4 Battle Royale

Activision including Black Ops 4 Battle Royale Mode in the next Call of Duty title seems a strong likelihood to us. Back in March we reported it would not be a surprise to see Battle Royale introduced, this was for many reasons.

Why Black Ops 4 Battle Royale makes sense

  • The success of Fortnite and PUBG
  • Huge revenue generated in Fortnite from Microtransactions
  • Battle Royale concept is still fresh and in-demand
  • Call of Duty is stagnating as a franchise

A recent report from Polygon states “Black Ops 4 won’t have traditional single-player campaign, will instead focus on Multiplayer and Zombies”. On top of this Charlie INTEL recently tweeted a report stating “a tipster also informed CI that Raven Software has reportedly been tasked with adding a Battle Royale mode to Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 to fill the content gap of no campaign”.

This sounds to be the making of an extremely shrewd business decision by Activision on multiple levels. I’m sure a previous Activision meeting went along the lines of “Why include a campaign which takes up a considerable portion of the budget and development time, when you can include a new hyped game mode which has the potential to generate huge amounts through micro-transactions”. This ties in with our earlier article where a report suggested “Activision is keenly aware of how other publishers have benefited from releasing titles in the popular Battle Royale genre”.

With no single player campaign, this also allows Activision to use the established and popular ‘Black Ops’ brand without having to tie it into the storyline. The setting and mechanics do not have to corroborate with the timeline of Black Ops 3, which is important given the general dislike of boost jumps and Exo Suits. Of course we expect Easter Eggs and references back to the previous series but this is much less of an undertaking than fitting in a whole new storyline.

What to expect in Black Ops 4 Battle Royale

Despite many publishers and developers being envious of the success from Fortnite, Activision will want to build it unique to CoD and keep the gameplay mechanics very similar, but bundled in a new way of playing. Nothing is confirmed yet but we expect the following:

  • Completely separate playlist
  • Average time to kill quicker than Fortnite / PUBG
  • Smaller maps than Fortnite / PUBG, but bigger than previous CoD maps
  • Unless the engine is being rebuilt expect less than 100 players per match
  • Map to become smaller over time
  • Dropped in with no weapons to find loot (weapons, attachments, perks etc.)
  • Potential use of historical battle sites
  • Microtransactions

Let’s not forget, Call of Duty already has it’s own Battle Royale game mode. There is an exclusive title in China called “Call of Duty Online” where 18 players play a survival game mode with the last player standing at the end. The screenshot below shows an example of loot available to pick up and use.

Call of Duty Online Battle Royale Survival in China
Call of Duty Online ‘Battle Royale’ played exclusively in China

Although it hasn’t been officially confirmed, it’s certainly an attractive prospect to look forward to and reinvigorate the Call of Duty franchise if it happens. If Battle Royale isn’t for you, then just don’t play it. The player base will be big enough to avoid matchmaking issues in other areas of MP. We expect to receive new intel on this soon, either from leaks (which generally happen every year) or at the Black Ops 4 Reveal Event on May 17th in Los Angeles.


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