No sooner has DICE released details about Battlefield V’s Firestorm battle royale mode, Treyarch pops its head above the parapet to reveal Call of Duty Black Ops 4’s own Blackout battle royale mode will go one step further and support 80 players per match.
Firestorm can house up to 64 players, while Blackout’s 80 players will feature in the upcoming beta with up to 100 players planned for the full release in October.
In an interview with Game Informer, co-studio chief Dan Bunting said ‘we’re starting with 80 players, but we’ve gone higher than that. Whenever we launch a game as a beta or whatever, that’s the beginning of something. We’re going to actively be participating in the community and taking feedback, making changes and adapting, evolving the game as feedback rolls in. So there’s a lot that can go on that can happen beyond that first impact of the game going out there.’
He goes on to explain that player numbers are all well and good, but Treyarch is eager to strike a balance for the most enjoyable battle royale experience possible. Feedback from the beta will, therefore, shape the final number implemented into the release version of Call of Duty: Black Ops 4. Bunting says ‘What’s really more important to us than a number is that the gameplay experience is as refined as it can be, that’s it the ideal perfect format for what players are going to play.’
As it stands Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 is winning the big FPS head-to-head in terms of pre-orders and positive public reaction to various trailers and betas. The disparity between the two titles is pronounced enough that DICE and EA opted to delay Battlefield V’s launch by a month to give themselves more time to perfect the game, and though not explicitly cited, avoid having to compete with Treyarch in what is set to be a landmark period in terms of big triple A releases.
The question remains, how will Blackout fare against battle royale stalwarts Fortnite and PUBG? The landscape will either change drastically or Treyarch’s efforts will fade into obscurity. Only time will tell. What’s for sure is the battle royale craze is about to go into overdrive in the coming months.