Activision Blizzard announced Call of Duty: Warzone, a new battle royale game that is launching March 10 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC as a free download.
While Warzone is an “all-new experience from the world of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare,” it is a free-to-play title that does not require the purchase of Modern Warfare. This makes it stand out from the previous (and first) Call of Duty battle royale experience, Blackout, which was just a mode in Call of Duty: Black Ops 4.
Blackout did well, but being tied to Black Ops 4 hurt its long-term growth. Other top battle royale games, like Fortnite and Apex Legends, are free-to-play and make money by selling cosmetic items and battle passes. Warzone will share the same battle pass and in-game store from Modern Warfare, so it’ll depend on its microtransactions to be profitable.
Warzone is doing a few things to stand out in the established battle royale market. Its matches will have 150 players, higher than the normal 100. It will also feature the Gulag, a place where players are sent after death. Here, dead players fight 1-vs.-1, with the winners getting sent back to the match.
Warzone will also share progression with Modern Warfare. If you don’t own Modern Warfare, your character level progress from Warzone will transfer over to the premium game if you ever purchase it. And just like Modern Warfare, Warzone will have cross-play between all of its platforms.
You’ll also get to try the Plunder mode, “where the freedom and gameplay variety of Battle Royale meets fast-paced Call of Duty action.” It has teams competing to collect the most in-game cash by completing multiple objectives, like holding onto capture points or raiding supply boxes.