RealOpinions: Call of Duty Warzone has been a massive success – but to what end?

The COD Battle Royale has undoubtedly delivered. But what happens next with IW?

Tom Owen by Tom Owen
call of duty cod warzone 2

Most people say “I hate to say I told you so” when referencing a premonition come true. Not here, we revel in it.

Just under 2 months ago, we suggested that Call of Duty: Warzone would take a huge chunk of the Battle Royale gaming hours when it launched. And boy has it.

The spin-off game has in some ways eclipsed the original so far but does this come at a cost?

Why has Warzone been so successful?

Firstly, let’s review the success. The game had 6 million players within the first 24 hours and 15 million in the first four days. For comparison, one of its biggest Battle Royale rivals, Apex Legends, had 2.5 million in the first 24 hours.

There was a lot of hype surrounding this game, but one other factor in its success is that it was made free. It seems that Activision learned from their previous mistakes with Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 and realized if they were to compete with other free titles, they needed to match it.

READ MORE: Best settings to use in Call of Duty: Warzone

These points also miss the fact, it was already a great game! So it’s great to see this evolving into a new game mode and working out well. The reviews have been good.

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BIG NUMBERS: Infinity Ward issued a thank you

Not everyone is loving it, streaming superstar Michael “Shroud” Grzesiek switched back to Apex Legends and made references to the fact it “actually takes skill” unlike COD.

But this is also the point. In the context of the mass market, most people aren’t professionals and play for fun. In a negative world, where COVID-19 means we all have to stay indoors, a fun shooter is just the ticket.

What about Call of Duty: Modern Warfare?

This seems to have had an unexpected impact that the original multiplayer game modes in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare seem very different places now.

READ MORE: Season 3 for Call of Duty – new playlists and modes

Due to the insane demand on Call of Duty: Warzone, there seems to be hugely reduced numbers left in the multiplayer. But equally the standard appears to be much higher.

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ADAPT OR DIE: The average player is better than before WARZONE

The casual player is having so much fun in Battle Royale that it appears to be much harder in the main game. Which also creates a self-fulfilling prophecy. Let’s face it, if you come back to the multiplayer and end up getting killed repeatedly, you are probably doing to stop playing it for good.

This hasn’t stopped Infinity Ward putting signposts about Call of Duty: Warzone all over the multiplayer menus of the original.

These are just anecdotal observations at this stage, but it does beg the question – is the future for Call of Duty in the Battle Royale arena?

What’s in it for them?

If Infinity Ward and Activision do continue to back the Call of Duty: Warzone model to the same degree, it makes you think – what’s the catch?

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare did a good job of ensuring it wasn’t pay-to-win but it did have a lot of DLC in the Battlepass and let us not forget the $ required to buy the game in the first place. So it was clear to see how they were going to make their millions, whilst we enjoyed a tremendous game.

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With Call of Duty: Warzone being free, you start to get nervous that something must be coming down the line. How will they make the money? Will they suddenly put paywalls in?

In a recent press release, Activision has said they have a lot of plans for DLC. An approach similar to Fortnite would be appreciated and would ensure they don’t upset the legions of fans they have been building over the last month.

So, I guess we say I told you so. All they need to do now is to increase the level of eSports participation on the game and it will have completed its journey to becoming a fully-fledged gaming titan.

Tom Owen

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