With the release of Call of Duty: Vanguard, some new features have been announced for Activision’s free-to-play battle royale offering, Call of Duty: Warzone. This will include cool weapons and vehicles, along with an eagerly anticipated map called Caldera. It will be used in place of the current 1980’s themed Verdansk, and is based on World War II. Will this be enough to keep interest levels in the game high, or could playing figures start to wane when gamers realize that not much has changed?
What Has the Free-to-Play Game Done Right so Far?
Despite dominating the gaming markets and the world of eSports for many years, Activision realized that it could gain an even greater following by creating a free-to-play option. This was inspired by the success of titles like Fortnite and PUBG, which have helped the battle royale format become incredibly popular over the last few years.
For a franchise with such a rich history of quality games, it should come as no surprise that Warzone has so far been met with a highly positive response. On top of good reviews that lauded the game for its maps and nail-biting gameplay, there are more than 100 million players currently involved. The title developed by Infinity Ward and Raven Software has taken the genre in its own direction and, while it does borrow some elements from offerings like Fortnite, it brings a lot of its own ideas to the party.
The popular battle royale genre does require freshening up from time to time, and this is done in the form of updates. After a successful start, Activision had always planned to introduce a modified version of the game alongside the release of Vanguard at the back end of 2021. It will only come with small changes, though.
How Will the Small Changes Go Down With Players?
Aside from a few new weapons and vehicles, there aren’t many wholesale changes going on with the new update of Warzone. The most notable alteration will be the switch of maps, which will bring about a greater emphasis on WW2 themes. The studio announced that the WW2 map would be released at the start of December, with Vanguard owners being granted early access to it.
Warzone players have been battling away in Verdansk for the best part of 18 months, so it was about time Activision introduced some changes. Many players will have grown tired of traversing the same sandbox and will welcome the fresh map. However, some gamers may enjoy having already mastered Verdansk, and could be perturbed about having to learn a whole new location. Indeed, a large part of the praise behind the game so far has been to do with the map, so changing this could be a gamble for Activision.
One of the most important announcements about the update is that it will come with an anti-cheat system. This will involve an algorithm that analyzes player behavior to determine whether anyone is employing unethical tactics. This will improve the game’s fairness and enhance the competition levels.
Was Activision Right to Make the Game Free?
There is no doubt that Activision’s decision to release a free-to-play offering alongside its main franchise was the right thing to do. It couldn’t ignore the amazing rise of battle royale games that allow players to play without paying and needed to gain its own foothold in the market.
The free offering also gives Activision a greater chance to catch players and pique their interest in the franchise, thus making them potential buyers of future games. It’s a technique that has been used to great effect in all areas of the gaming industry. For example, at online casinos there are thousands of bonuses out there to give players a chance to play for free first before they invest their own funds. Indeed, there are so many to choose from that comparison sites exist to point players in the direction of the best free spins no deposit UK options. By using these on a site like Sky Vegas, players can spin the reels 50 times for free on slot games and see if they like them. If they don’t, they can simply look elsewhere.
The mobile gaming market also uses this model, with freemium games having risen to the forefront of the mainstream in the last five years. Players can download and start playing a game without spending any money, and if they discover they like it, they can pay more to enhance their experience with upgrades and extra levels.
Warzone has been met with critical acclaim so far, but the new update represents a slight gamble. Players loved the old map, and when they find that the new update is mainly just a new sandbox, they may feel as though Activision hasn’t given them enough. Still, for a free-to-play option, it’s going to please a vast number of players.