Earlier this week, Activision made the surprise announcement of a new battle royale game set in the Call of Duty universe. Dubbed Warzone, this new game launched on Tuesday, a mere day after it was announced. It looks like the surprise announcement and subsequent release of Warzone went off without a hitch, as Activision is reporting a big turnout from players in the game’s first week.
On the Call of Duty Twitter account last night, Activision announced that 6 million people played Warzone in its first 24 hours. That’s no small achievement, but it’s certainly one helped along by the fact that Warzone is a free-to-play title. Add to that a large, existing Call of Duty fanbase that likely already had Modern Warfare installed and was able to dive into Warzone after applying an update, and we’ve got the recipe for a successful launch.
It’ll be interesting to see how Warzone performs from here. Apex Legends found similar success with its surprise launch last year, and while player numbers died down after that explosive launch, there still seems to be a somewhat large and dedicated player base for the game.
The difference is that Apex Legends was a new brand while Call of Duty is one of the game industry’s perennially popular game franchises. There’s a lot of strength behind the Call of Duty brand, so it seems that if there’s one battle royale game that can have the staying power to challenge games like Fortnite and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, it could be Warzone.
Warzone does its part to shakeup the battle royale genre a little bit, sending players to The Gulag after their first elimination and giving them a chance to earn redeployment by fighting other eliminated players. There’s also a Plunder mode separate from the main battle royale game mode, in which players will attempt to rack up cash by completing contracts and eliminating opponents. Warzone is free-to-play and available now on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC via Battle.net.