The battle royale genre remains an immensely popular one, so it came as something of a surprise last week, when Call of Duty: Modern Warfare developer Infinity Ward claimed the upcoming reboot wouldn’t include any such mode.
You’ll no doubt remember that last year’s Black Ops 4 had a battle royale mode called Blackout, which proved a hit with fans previously skeptical at the idea of Activision chasing the battle royale craze. However, in an interview last week, Infinity Ward appeared to confirm Modern Warfare would skip out on including a battle royale to focus on the “core” multiplayer experience.
Joe Cecot, Infinity Ward’s multiplayer design director, told IGN:
We’re big fans of battle royale. We’re excited for large player counts and things like that, but right now we’re really focused on core multiplayer. We really focused on Modern Warfare, authentic and gritty, realistic weapons and it’s a different experience. It’s really… just about pulling back to Modern Warfare and keeping that pure.
While the above comments certainly implied that we shouldn’t expect a battle royale mode in Modern Warfare, new reports have surfaced that suggest that the upcoming game will in fact be getting a free, standalone battle royale experience in early 2020.
Content creator LongSensation recently took to Twitter to share a rumour that developer Raven Software (who typically assist on Call of Duty development) would be working with Infinity Ward to develop a Modern Warfare battle royale that’s separate from the core game, but still connected in certain ways.
LongSensation has a fairly solid track record when it comes to reporting on Call of Duty rumours, but as always, take this with a pinch of salt until we hear something more official.
If this battle royale mode does drop early 2020 as rumoured, it’d be well placed to create a new spike in interest for Modern Warfare just months after release, which I imagine Activision would hope translates to even more sales.
It’d certainly be a pretty smart move for Activision to drop a free, separate battle royale that would hoover up a massive playerbase of gamers who wouldn’t usually play a CoD, who could then potentially be convinced to buy the the full Modern Warfare for more Call of Duty action.
While Modern Warfare won’t have a battle royale at launch, Infinity Ward has revealed a large-scale mode called Ground War. It’ll support up to 40 players on one massive map when the game releases, but there are post launch plans to extend that player count beyond 100 players per match.
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Ewan Moore is a journalist at UNILAD Gaming who still quite hasn’t gotten out of his mid 00’s emo phase. After graduating from the University of Portsmouth in 2015 with a BA in Journalism & Media Studies (thanks for asking), he went on to do some freelance words for various places, including Kotaku, Den of Geek, and TheSixthAxis, before landing a full time gig at UNILAD in 2016.