Google has released their list of trending searches for 2018 and that includes a list of the top 10 video games. The highest trending game of 2018 should come as no surprise, it is Fortnite. The game has taken over the world this year with massive collaborations and a ton of media attention. At number 2 on the list is Red Dead Redemption 2, which also isn’t a surprise. Fallout 76 is number three, which goes to show that the trending game doesn’t necessarily mean it is the best. Right now on Metacritic, it has a user score of just 2.7. Monster Hunter: World lands at number 6 on the list. It is followed by Sea of Thieves, another game with a low Metacritic score.
The game that comes in at number 10 is a massive surprise, Zombs Royale. This is one that admittedly has flown under our radar until now. It’s a Battle Royale game for browser and mobile. While looking this game up, we first turned to Youtube, wondering if perhaps it had been made popular there by a big Youtuber. But, the video with the most views is at 1.3 million views from Fuszion, a channel with 6.3k followers. You can see the video below if you’re curious.
This list was just for the United States. There weren’t as many lists for other countries or globally. Other trends Other trends from Google in the US this year include Fortnite gifs topping the gif chart, Logan Paul in Actors, and the World Cup topped searches. Fortnite also makes an appearance in the list for How to, with the number 10 how to question is how to get the Boogie Down emote. It is also number 7 in the What is… list. Not too much of a stretch to assume it was mostly parents doing that search.
Here’s Google’s full list of the top 10 highest trending games of 2018.
After announcing that Fractured Space was ending development the news that Wargaming acquires Edge Case, the makers of Fractured Space is a bit of a surprise. What isn’t a surprise though is that Activision is tightening its grip on Blizzard and making them focus more on money. This represents a massive change in the culture at Blizzard. One that some former developers aren’t too keen on and may, in fact, be responsible for Diablo Immortal. This week we also found out what the top grossing games in October were, though the top games really shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who follows the industry. Finally, we get a new report from the UK Gambling Commission that doesn’t show any connection between lootboxes and gambling, despite what some who reported on the matter interpreted from the report. You can find all of that and much more in this week’s dive into the business behind games, MMO Money.
Activision Tightening Its Grip on Blizzard
Activision and Blizzard have been together since 2007 but, according to a recent article from Kotaku, Activision has started having a greater influence over Blizzard. Much of it started with Activision Blizzard’s Senior VP of Investor Relations took on the role of CFO at Blizzard earlier this year. Shortly after she was appointed she told employees that Blizzard was looking to save money this year. This is very different from the message previously given. Anonymous employees who spoke to Kotaku said that the way they were being scrutinized you would have thought Blizzard was going under and had no money.
Activision hasn’t been having an amazing year. Share prices have taken a hit and Destiny 2 is underperforming which may be putting a little bit of pressure on the company as a whole. Blizzard has also had a drop in monthly active users for four quarterly reports in a row. That simply comes down to not releasing any new games in a while.
This almost certainly had an influence on Blizzard’s decision to go into mobile games as well. The Kotaku article also says that they have more in the works, including a Warcraft Augmented Reality game like Pokemon Go.
It looks like Blizzard as we once knew it is changing. If that’s a good thing or not depends on how much you have invested in the company.
Last month Edge Case announced they were ending development on Fractured Space. Now we’re finding out that the studio has been acquired by Wargaming. The 32 members of the Edge Case team will be relocating to Wargaming UK’s office bringing the total number working there up to 55. There they will be working on an unannounced F2P MMO. Wargaming UK isn’t looking to acquire any more studios, but they are hiring for a number of positions.
It’s too early to have any idea what exactly the next Wargaming F2P MMO is going to be. But that isn’t going to stop us from hoping that it is going to be World of Spaceships. That’s what happens when you mix Fractured Space with World of Tanks…right? Whatever the game is we’re looking forward to the day it gets announced.
Superdata released their monthly look at the top grossing titles. For the first time ever console gamers spent over $1 billion on full game downloads in a single month. Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 topped the console charters with Red Dead Redemption 2 and Fortnite in third. Pokemon Go holds the number 2 position as far as mobile games go. Second only to Honour of Kings, a Chinese game which has been at the top for quite a long time now. Overwatch, which didn’t make the top 10 list is seeing microtransactions are down 20% from last October. However, thanks to Halloween they were up from September.
The UK Gambling Commission put out a report that said they are concerned with the increasingly blurred lines between games and gambling. The report also found that 3 in 10 children have opened lootboxes while playing video games. However, this doesn’t mean that lootboxes are a gateway to gambling or that they are themselves gambling, which some media companies reported. For the first time ever questions around awareness and usage of lootboxes were included in an annual survey of 3,000 kids in the UK ages 11 to 16. Speaking to Games Industry a spokeswoman said, “We’ve not in anyway, in the survey, referred to it as exposure to gambling. The reason we’ve asked that question is that it’s a very popular subject matter and we want to try and make sure that we have as much information and data around it as possible.”
The survey did find that 15% of children 11-16 are aware of skin betting websites. However, only 3% have ever participated and this has no connection to lootboxes at all. Awareness of lootboxes was at 54%. Those are kids who said they knew it was possible to pay money for them in games. 31% said they have acquired them and opened them either through their parent or guardian or through their own means.
It’s very disappointing to see that the UK continues to hold a stance that goes against what many countries in Europe have decided. But then again, we have come to expect that sort of thing.
PUBG Mobile has made $100 million in player purchases, Battlefield V won’t have battle royale mode until 2019, and a Battle Royale title announces that it will be shutting down. Find all of this and more below in this weeks’ Battle Royale Weekly news update.
Battlefield V Won’t Have Battle Royale Mode Until 2019
DICE has released the roadmap for the next few months of development on Battlefield V and it looks like the Battle Royale mode, called Firestorm is being put off until the March 2019 content release. Battlefield V will have phases that will introduce a new content patch every few months. In addition to Firestorm, the March release will include the Greece Theater a Combined Arms mission, and an unnamed multiplayer mode.
A Halloween event has been introduced in Battlerite Royale called Curse of the Night. Trick or Treat shrines have popped up all over Talon Island and there are all new in-game items and cosmetics for you to get your hands on.
Call of Duty: Black Ops IV Bans Battlefield V Designer, Then Unbans Him
A Battlefield V developer got his CoD Black Ops IV account banned temporarily shortly after he started playing. Florian ‘Drunkkz3’ Le Bihan took to Twitter to prove his innocence. Though he wasn’t told why his account was banned he operated under the assumption that he was banned because the system thought he was using an aimbot. So, he uploaded a video that proved his innocence. Shortly afterward his account was unbanned and he was able to go back to playing.
It looks like we’ll be able to play Crazy Justice soon now that the game is on Steam and can be added to Wishlists. It’s currently listed as Coming Soon and it will be in Early Access when it does go live but, this is very exciting news for anyone who has been following the game.egress
Egress Now in Closed Beta, Early Access Coming Soon
What does Early Access even mean anymore? Nobody knows! But, Egress is now in closed beta. A few thousand beta keys were sent out for this event but if you didn’t get one you still have a chance thanks to their giveaways on Discord. Or you can wait until November 8th when the game will be in Early Access. The choice is yours.
Fear the Wolves got a huge update that introduced new features, new weapons, and more. Now you’ll be able to find secret stashes of high tier loot scattered throughout the map. But, players will need to find treasure maps in the wilderness to unlock them. The wolves that need to be feared have also been given a bit of an update. Their behavior has been improved so keep an eye out for solo ninja (the writer’s words, not official) wolves who will sneak up on players. Packs also have more health and are more aggressive.
Fortnite Developers Opening Australia and New Zealand Office
Tony Reed has stepped down as the CEO of the Game Developers Association of Australia to help establish an Epic Games office in Australia and New Zealand. The details of what will happen in that office haven’t been disclosed yet, but, Reed says that there will be a lot of news about it coming in the near future. MMOGames will be keeping an eye out for this news when it comes.
Season 2 will be coming to Fractured Lands on November 6th. With it comes semi trucks, a squad battle mode, and new customization options. New players will also be able to try it out for free during a weekend event November 8-11.
Islands of Nyne Sees Massive Surge in Negative Reviews
While checking through our list of all the Battle Royale games currently in development we found something rather odd. Islands of Nyne on Steam has seen a huge trend downwards as the recent reviews have been in Steam’s words, Overwhelmingly Negative. In fact, of 281 reviews in the last 30 days, only 6% have been positive. Many of the reviews state that the game has no players and that the developers have abandoned the game. According to Steamspy the average play time in the last two weeks is just 6 minutes. Meanwhile, Steamcharts shows that the last time the game had more than 100 concurrent players was at the end of September. Sadly, it looks like Islands of Nyne may be dead in the water. But, we will, of course, be watching it in the following weeks to see how it performs over the holidays.
PUBG Mobile Reaches $100 Million, But Only Half as Fast as Fortnite
Thanks to a new report from SensorTower we now know that PUBG Mobile has reached $100 million in revenue. It took 192 days for PUBG Mobile to reach that milestone, one that took Fortnite just 90 days. Knives Out, NetEase’s mobile Battle Royale game reached $100 million in player spending in 118 days. Why was PUBG so slow compared to the others? Well, part of that is down to the fact that in China the game isn’t monetized. China is PUBG Mobile’s biggest player base and without them contributing to the revenue it, of course, took longer for PUBG to reach $100 million.
SOS has announced that they will be shutting down on November 12th after struggling since they announced they would be following the Battle Royale trend and changing the original game. This move proved to be quite unpopular with players and the game never recovered. Players on Steam are now requesting refunds but so far those pleas have been ignored.
Totally Accurate Battlegrounds Shortens Match Wait Time
Totally Accurate Battlegrounds made a small update to their game to shorten the amount of time you have to wait for a match to start. If 3.5 minutes have passed and no additional players have joined the queue the match will begin. This will sometimes mean smaller matches, but at least you will be able to play.
Battlefield V’s beta test leaves a lot to be desired while the beta for Call of Duty Black Ops 4 is a huge success. Plus one of the most anticipated Battle Royale games gets delayed. Find all of that and more in this week’s Battle Royale Weekly.
It looks like EA doesn’t plan on having a second Beta test for Battlefield V after the initial didn’t go as well as EA had hoped it would and had negative press around it like the banning of words including Nazi, Titanfall, and DLC. Battlefield V is due to launch in November but DICE has announced a series of changes to the game in response to player feedback from the beta. Right now it isn’t clear if this will mean players won’t get a chance to try the Battle Royale mode Firestorm before launch or not. By the end of the week it is expected that there will be a blog post detailing what they learned from the beta, so keep an eye out for that.
This weekend Battlerite Royale is hosting one final closed beta session and all players who have previously signed up to take part will be invited. There will be three different play sessions for three vastly different time zones. Players will be able to play in any session they like but they’re encouraged to play in their regions for the best experience. The times are as follows:
10:00 – 12:00 UTC (aimed for OCE)
17:00 – 19:00 UTC (aimed for EU)
23:00 – 01:00 UTC (aimed for NA)
After this Battlerite Royale will head into Steam Early Access on September 26th.
Fans are eager to jump back into Black Ops 4 after a massively successful beta that was universally praised. On Reddit, Treyarch posted a post-beta recap just for Blackout, the Battle Royale mode. The statement goes into detail about feedback they heard from players and how they aim to fix problems. The level of communication is being applauded by fans who all hope it will continue going forward. The Reddit post outlines changes to armor, audio, inventory, Xbox One performance, and some fun stats.
A highly requested feature on Steam has been added that means players no longer need to use the Gaijin.net Agent or a launcher to launch the game. They do, however, recommend that you use the Cuisine Royale Launcher so you always have the most up to date version of the game.
The Darwin Project has released its massive September content update and the patch notes go on forever. While I recommend you read the patch notes if you’re a player, here are just a few of the highlights. Roll is a feature that can be used in combat by consuming stamina. The new Show Director Power Beach Party has been introduced. Plus players can downsize with the new Electronic Power Shrink. They also highlight new cosmetic items like the plated denim you see above and released a ton of improvements to the game. Check out the patch notes linked below.
Closed beta testing is now running for the Pinata mode of Egress. A few thousand beta keys have already been sent out. So if you don’t have access yet but you want to be sure to sign up or follow their Discord where they give some out from time to time.
In case you missed it, and we couldn’t be surprised if you did since there was no formal announcement Europa is now being called Ring of Elysium. It is now available on Steam and you can see an all-new trailer for the game below.
Now deep in Early Access, Fear the Wolves has released its third update to the game. The update focuses on introducing new content, performance optimization, and changes to gameplay. They’ve also added 10 more languages to the game. Check out everything they announced in the link below.
While a lot of attention right now might be on loot in Fortnite we also need to take a look at real-life consequences of misbehaving and threatening people. A 45-year-old man has been arrested after he allegedly threatened an 11-year-old because of Fortnite. The man is facing second-degree aggravated harassment charges and a charge of acting in a manner to injure a child. This coming after he sent threatening text messages and online voice messages on his Xbox because he lost a match.
H1Z1 is now being made by a new studio and with that comes a new name for the game! It will now be called Z1 Battle Royale. With that, they’ve released a new roadmap that is admittedly a bit sparse and they’ve released Version 1.0 with adjustments to weapons, matchmaking, and more. The goal is to return to the game’s roots to be the most competitive Battle Royale game.
The Founders access to Mavericks: The Forge, which was supposed to be launching soon, has been delayed until the end of November. Many fans are left disappointed but they aren’t without options or compensation. All founders will now get an additional 3 months of Citizenship membership and non-founders who have signed up for the previously announced beta will get 1-month Citizenship access once the game economy goes live. They are also accepting refund requests for those who aren’t happy and no longer wish to be a founder.
For those not in the know, Mavericks: The Forge is what they’re calling all of the pre-release testing instead of saying Early Access, Closed Beta, and so on. The CEO of Automaton is currently doing an AMA on Reddit if you want to see more details.
Alpha testing for Mortal Royale begins today. If you’ve made it into the first phase of testing then you should already have a Steam key in your inbox. Those who are involved are allowed to stream the alpha test so be sure the check on Twitch for someone playing if you’ve not made it in.
PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds may finally be heading to PS4. We know this thanks to the Korean Ratings Board. Bluehole has always been very clear and open about the fact that they want PUBG to be available on all platforms so it makes sense that this is coming. All we need now is an official announcement which may not come until the Playstation Experience in December. For now, we will just have to wait and see.
This week we have a pretty big variety in the news around Battle Royale games. A new Battle Royale game has been announced, Fortnite is having security and player problems, and on top of that, we have a Call of Duty Black Ops 4 Blackout leak, and so much more.
If you’re more interested in the Combined Arms co-op and the Battle Royale modes for Battlefield V, you may want to wait to get Battlefield V. Both of these modes have been pushed back and won’t be available at launch. Vehicle customization also won’t be there at launch. This seems like an example of the publisher setting a launch date the developers are finding difficult to meet.
The announcement of Battlerite Royale as its own game came with a lot of mixed feelings from Battlerite players. Stunlock has acknowledged that there are things they could have done better in the announcement. The studio has promised that an FAQ would be posted in September but they also answered some questions that the community had been discussing.
Anyone who bought Battlerite in Early Access or has purchased the All Champions Pack or the Ultimate Fan Pack will get a coupon for 50% off the game as well as a limited edition Legendary Ember Tiger mount. Battlerite players who don’t fit into the above category but do have an account level 20 or higher when Battlerite Royale launches will receive the limited Epic Ricky the Rocket mount if they purchase Battlerite Royale. Players who meet both requirements will get both mounts and any cosmetics that are unlocked in Battlerite Arena will be shared in Battlerite Royale.
Battlerite Royale will cost $20 and is expected to start Early Access by the end of September.
A new leak may have revealed a whole lot of new information about Blackout, the Battle Royale mode of the game. This leak comes from The Wew Lads who correctly leaked previous content about another Call of Duty title, so there may be some credibility to this leak.
Blackout mode will, according to the leak, have doors that can be opened and closed. It will also have zombies in a selected area. The mode may feature up to 100 players. The leak also talks about a new mode called Outboarding which is a training/tutorial mode. Oh and if this is important, you do in fact parachute into the map. Raising the question, is it a Battle Royale game if you don’t parachute in?
At Gamescom, Techland announced that Dying Light: Bad Blood would be entering Early Access in September, though no exact date was given. It has been confirmed that while consoles won’t be part of the Early Access, the game will release on Playstation 4 and Xbox One when it launches. The game will be free to play unless you want to take part in Early Access. The Early Access will be part of the $19.99 Founders Pack. This pack will include:
Exclusive Golden Founder’s Mask
Three exclusive Legendary weapon skins
Golden Neckslicer dagger
Golden Bonecleaver machete
Golden Skullopener cricket bat
1000 Blood Bucks
Three exclusive Legendary skins distributed over three months post-launch
Thanks to their presence at Gamescom we now have quite a lot of gameplay footage on Youtube to dig through. So if you want to know what its like before you throw cash at it, this is your chance….or you could just wait until it launches.
Egress has introduced a new mode called Piñata that is exactly what it says in the name. You’ll be on one of two sides and your job is to destroy the other team’s piñata while protecting your own. Check out the short video introducing the new mode below.
Source: Press Release
Fear the Wolves
The Early Access for Fear the Wolves is underway on Steam with mixed reviews. 55% of the 63 reviews for the game are positive. According to SteamCharts, their concurrent peak so far has been 388 players, not bad for a game that has been in Early Access for less than three days that isn’t free to play. We also have a content roadmap for September which will include things like 2 seater vehicles and weapon customization. In October players can expect more movement options, new melee mechanics, and an in-game event system.
Fortnite on Android is experiencing some security issues that are prompting many prominent tech sites to recommend staying away from the game for now. A Google employee discovered a vulnerability that allowed hackers to replace the app with a fake version of the game. Google immediately notified Epic, who quickly got to work on fixing the issue. They also asked Google not to disclose the vulnerability to the public for 90 days, to give players time to install the new patch. Google instead waited the industry standard 7 days before they went public. Epic then lashed out at Google for doing so, which raised a lot of red flags for those in the cyber security sphere.
Google isn’t the only group that Epic is upset with right now, they’re also looking at fans who are unlocking the exclusive Galaxy skin with demo phones in stores. For those who don’t know what that is, when Fortnite was announced for Android they also announced an exclusive partnership with Samsung that would give owners of the brand new Samsung Note 9 or Tab S4 an incredibly rare skin, the rarest skin of them all in fact. Samsung themselves aren’t very happy about this either and many stores are putting up signs telling shoppers not to install Fortnite. Which, of course, they aren’t. They hoped this would attract people to buy their very pricey new devices.
The original survival mode for H1Z1 which was named Just Survive…hasn’t survived. Daybreak has announced that the game will shut down in October despite having never even launched. This shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise though as the Battle Royale game took off in a way that Just Survive never did.
Source: Press Release
Another week, another new Battle Royale game. Star Vault, the creators of Mortal Online have announced Mortal Royale, a Battle Royale game with 1,000 players. Along with finding weapons and armor, you’ll be on the lookout for mounts who give you incredible advantages on the field. You can sign up to take part in the alpha right now on the official site. Check out the trailer for the game below, though if you don’t like blood you might want to skip this one.
Expect to see a new trailer for Proxima Royale in the coming weeks that shows off all the new content they’ve been working on. They also revealed that Closed Beta is on its way, currently slated for Q3 2018. The game is not currently playable, but they are making updates on Steam where they release new information.
Battle Royale Weekly was delayed just a little bit while we waited for news to come out of Gamescom. Now that the big push is out of the way though we can dive into things. We’ve got trailers for a few different games, Fear the Wolves Early Access has a start date, there’s a new Battle Royale game, and Fortnite is once again bringing in all the money. You can find all of that and more in this week’s edition of Battle Royale Weekly.
Battlefield V is making a big splash at Gamescom this week. It’s playable on the convention floor and for anyone who isn’t there, we got a new trailer to watch for the Devastation of Rotterdam as well as possibly the first glimpse of the Battle Royale mode. The game will be going into beta in early September and will feature the new map.
Source: Press Release
Last week Battlerite Royale got a gameplay reveal trailer that is sure to please. The game will be coming in September and beta sign-ups are now available.
Source: Press Release
Call of Duty Black Ops 4 Blackout
If you’ve been itching to get your hands on Blackout you’ll finally get your chance starting on September 10th for PS4 owners. PC and Xbox One players will have to wait until September 14th for their chance to play the beta of the battle royale mode. The game will be launching on October 12th.
Source: Press Release
The Darwin Project
Last week, The Darwin Project reached the number one spot in the Microsoft Store for free games. They also launched a partners program for content creators who meet their requirements. The program officially launches in September.
Dying Light: Bad Blood is at Gamescom this week, but if you aren’t then you’ll be able to get your hands on the game in September as it goes into Early Access. If you’re very very lucky you might be one of the few selected for a one day preview of the game this coming weekend. Keys for it will be handed out on August 22nd so if you’ve signed up for the beta make sure you keep an eye on your inbox.
Source: Press Release
Fear the Wolves
At Gamescom, Vostok revealed that Fear the Wolves would be hitting Steam Early Access on August 28th after being previously delayed. To go along with the announcement we got a Release Date Trailer.
Source: Press Release
Revenue for Fornite on iOS has reached $200 million just 5 months after it launched. It took 3 months to reach the $100 million mark, which means that people are spending even more on the most popular game in existence right now. Thanks to new information from SensorTower we know that this was primarily from players in the United States who account for 63% of the total spent so far. That’s $126 million and 12 times the amount of the second highest country, the UK who accounts for just 5% of the total. What does this mean? Americans REALLY love Fortnite. $200 million puts Fortnite up there with the King of mobile, Clash of Clans which brought in the same amount of money in the same amount of time. Based on their estimates, SensorTower projects that Fortnite will gross over $450 million in 2018 on iOS alone. This means that Apple will be getting an additional $75 million in platform fees on top of the $60 million it has made so far since March. With numbers like that is it any wonder Epic has decided to skip Google Play? SensorTower estimates that in doing so Google will miss out on at least $50 million in revenue this year alone.
PUBG is getting a training mode. This mode will allow 5-20 players to practice on a 2x2km map. This is part of the Fix PUBG Campaign that was announced earlier this month. The campaign is an effort by the developers to make PUBG a better, more stable, and fairer game. The training mode will allow players to practice all aspects of the game including driving vehicles, practicing parachute landings, and mastering the peek shot amongst other things.
Hi-Rez has split up into three developers so that each one could focus on a particular game. Titan Forge Games will focus on Smite, Evil Mojo Games will work on Paladins, and Heroic Leap Games will develop Realm Royale. This couldn’t come at a better time as Realm Royale has seen its population on Steam drop nearly 95% in terms of concurrent players after 2 months, a shocking number to say the least.
Gamescom 2018 was only open for a few minutes before Stormdivers was announced. It was one of the very first press releases out the door and yes, it is, in fact, a Battle Royale game. It is being made by renowned Finnish studio Housemarque, who is known for games like Nex Machina and Resogun. This game brings us up to 35 Battle Royale titles we’re following. Check out the futuristic Battle Royale game in the official trailer below.
To be totally honest it’s a bit of a surprise that more new Battle Royale games weren’t announced. Gamescom isn’t always the best place to display new games so it is possible that there won’t be any. It’s also equally possible that there is a press embargo on some of the newer titles, so we will just have to wait until next week to get the full scope of what went down at Gamescom. If you’d like to just have the Battle Royale games of Gamescom 2018 we have another article just for you. Next week we also have PAX Prime to look forward to, which means even more opportunities for announcements and new games. If there are any new indie Battle Royale games made in North America, this is likely where we’ll find them.
The rumors are now officially ended and completely confirmed. The latest Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 reveal was stuffed to the gills with information about the next entry in the venerable FPS franchise, confirming its complete focus on pretty much all things multiplayer.
Described in the press release as a “gritty, grounded, all-out combat experience”, Black Ops 4 will focus less on aerial vaulting for its movement with emphasis on “boots on the ground” movement. This grants the devs at Treyarch more time to focus on the game’s gunplay, with promise of new weaponry, new deployable Gear items, and new maps and modes. Black Ops 4 will also bring back the Pick 10 create-a-class system, which pairs with selectable Gear for a highly customizable experience.
These days we can’t talk multiplayer without putting battle royale in our mouths, so a moment must also be granted to Blackout mode, Black Ops 4’s answer to the ballooning sub-genre. In Blackout, players will be taken to a map described as 1500 times the size of the Nuketown multiplayer map. Solo players or teams can duke it out on land, sea and air with the use of vehicles, and lets players take command of characters from the history of the Call of Duty series to see who’s left standing.
Last but certainly not least, Black Ops 4 will bring back Zombies mode, with three full-featured Zombies experiences arriving at launch. Zombies will introduce more customization options, systems to create and complete community challenges, and new social systems to connect players together. The mode will also offer a new tutorial for the freshly-arrived, and is bringing back difficulty level options for further customization. Finally, Zombies will add a new Zombie Rush mode, promising a streamlined yet challenging experience.
With all of this said, fans no doubt have noticed the abject lack of a single-player campaign. According to an interview with Treyarch co-head Dan Bunting, a campaign mode was never on the team’s radar. “When we set out to make this game, we never started with the idea that we would make a traditional campaign,” said Bunting. “If you look at the Black Ops series and how players have interacted with it, it’s being more and more experienced as a social thing.”
Bunting further explained that features and updates to Black Ops 4 are due to arrive regularly, with the game built in such a way that fresh content can be added for a long time…or at least as long as fan support is there. “We’ve gone into this knowing that we’re making a game that can be played with friends across the board and going to be played for a long time to come, many years,” said Bunting. “As long as they keep playing your game, we’re going to deliver.”
More details about all things CoD: BLOPS 4 can be found on the game’s official website, while a trailer showing off some of the new shooter’s multiplayer action can be seen below.
Considering how ravenous and how driven the Call of Duty playerbase is on team-based multiplayer gaming, we’re not terribly surprised that this entry in the series has decided to go all “games as a service” on us. That said, there is a pretty stiff level of competition and even the most dedicated of CoD fans might not be enough for a game like this to usurp any multiplayer or battle royale thrones.
However, perhaps that’s not the point: Black Ops 4 likely is just here to create a fun game for its legion of fans and that certainly should be enough.
‘Tis financial season and Activision Blizzard had a big one, widely driven by World of Warcraft, Overwatch, and Candy Crush. Reporting $2 billion in Q1 revenue and 374 million active users across all games, this is a record high for Activision Blizzard in the first quarter of the financial year.
More specifically, Activision made up $92 million of the company’s operating income, mainly on the strength of Call of Duty. Blizzard made up $122 million of the operating income driven by “in-game content” through all of their games, strong Battle for Azeroth pre-sales which are ahead of plans and likely driven by unlockable Allied Races in World of Warcraft, as well as the Overwatch League which has seen huge success this year with “strong and consistent” viewership every week. King then made up $191 million of the operating income, with Candy Crush particularly “reaching its highest net booking since Q4 2013.”
Battle Royale Likely Coming to Activision Blizzard Titles
During the earnings call, Activision Blizzard were asked about what they had learned from Fortnite and PUBG‘s success, to which Activision COO Coddy Johnson commended the battle royale genre’s “compelling survivor mechanics and large, in-game player pools” and how they have “brought tens of millions of completely new players into gaming both on traditional platforms like console and PC, but also on newer platforms for the genre like mobile.” CFO Spencer Neumann commented that the battle royale genre is “contributing to the innovation and expansion we’re seeing in the industry”, while CEO Bobby Kotick added, “When we see people innovate in an interesting and impactful way, we are very quick to figure out how to capture inspiration from innovation. When we see things that appeal to our audiences, we are very good at being inspired by those.”
We already know that Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 will come with a battle royale mode, but could there be more inspiration taken from this area within Activision’s vast library?
Destiny 2 Looking Glum But New Content Talked About
There was no denying from Activision Blizzard’s Q1 report or the earnings call that Destiny 2 has not reached the level of success expected of it. Johnson offered a view of where they plan to take the game in the future; “The three things we know we’re going to do and that the community is looking for is: make the player more powerful, provide rewards, and make the endgame more meaningful.”
Overall, Activision wouldn’t reveal any definitive details on the current status of Destiny 2’s player numbers or profit margins, which doesn’t sound all too promising. However, that may be due to change with Warmind’s release next week, also Johnson did make sure to tease a fall expansion bringing many gameplay innovations including one game mode that “introduces a whole new style of play for first-person shooter gaming generally and certainly for the shooter space that Destiny created.” While we don’t have any concrete details on this game mode or the fall expansion for Destiny 2 itself just yet, we get expect to hear more on this during next month’s E3.
There’s always a lot to take in following this quarterly financial reports, but it seems fairly clear what Activision Blizzard’s record high in this first quarter means for their games. World of Warcraft is recovering nicely with promising sales for Battle for Azeroth, the Overwatch League has been a resounding success, people still spend too much on mobile games, battle royale continues to soar whether we like it or not, and Destiny 2 has some serious work to do if it wants to pull itself back to where it should have been from the beginning. Here’s hoping.
A variety of anonymous reports are coming in about the next Call of Duty: Black Ops game and they’re definitely liable to raise a few eyebrows. According to sources and leaked reports, the next entry in the venerable shooter franchise is scrapping single-player mode for more multiplayer focus and even adding battle royale.
Word about the end of Black Ops 4’s single-player development was initially reported by Polygon as the team at Treyarch is said to be diverting more attention to the game’s multiplayer and Zombies modes. Today, a story from Eurogamer corroborated those reports with word from their own anonymous sources.
Additionally, a leaker by the name of CharlieINTEL broke news of BLOPS 4 getting a battle royale mode – a revelation that was further repeated in a report from Kotaku. Once more, Eurogamer’s own source has added their confirmation to this new information, stating that the mode likely won’t be arriving with a 100-player version but development is working towards that mark.
With all of this said, the game is still in a state of active development and so plans are certainly capable of changing between now and release. Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 is due to arrive globally on Friday, October 12th with a community reveal event set for Thursday, May 17th.
If we’re very honest with ourselves, the single-player campaigns of previous Call of Duty games were pretty much bullet points anyway, so a deepened focus on multiplayer isn’t a terribly surprising reveal. We’re also not incredibly shocked at word of a battle royale mode, either. After all, why wouldn’t Activision try to get a slice of Gaming’s Latest Hotness?