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This article was published on February 17, 2020

Rumor: Call of Duty to launch free ‘Warzone’ battle royale game as early as February 18

Rumor: Call of Duty to launch free ‘Warzone’ battle royale game as early as February 18

Call of Duty Modern Warfare recently received its Season Two update, and with it a mysterious “classified” game mode appeared in the game’s menu. Players are currently unable to select the new mode, but we’re all pretty sure it’s going to lead to an all-new battle royale once it finally unlocks.

The question, however, is when will that happen? The gaming industry is notorious for its inability to keep a secret but, aside from a glitch here and a map reveal there, developer Infinity Ward has managed to keep the suspense going on its battle royale reveal.

First off, we don’t even know whether it’s going to be an add-on for Modern Warfare or a standalone game. Rumors persist that Infinity Ward will offer it as a free-to-play game that Modern Warfare owners can integrate with the full version at no additional cost. This makes sense considering that there’s already stiff competition in the battle royale field from several free offerings.

This would also set the mode apart from the “Blackout” mode from Call of Duty Black Ops 4 which, while well-recieved, didn’t quite reach the appeal of Fortnite or PUBG.

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Other speculation we’ve read includes rumors that the game mode will allow for up to 200 players – apparently it’ll be played on a giant map that links together several current Modern Warfare maps, potentially with new undisclosed maps.

Credit: Washington Post
A screenshot of a supposed Warzone map, via the Washington Post.

And this old post from Reddit made the rounds enough to convince the Washington Post’s Mike Hume to take it seriously. According to Redditor Seniscallo, Infinity Ward intends to include a death mechanic where players who are removed from the game may compete in one-versus-one cage matches:

Respawn Tokens can be looted. After one use, Respawn Tokens are disabled for the player.

To respawn a teammate, obtain a Respawn Token, then drop their body near an Ambulance. Once the body is dropped at the Ambulance, the player will enter the Gulag queue for a chance to win a 1v1 and respawn into the match.

At some point during the match, the Gulag will be closed and no longer usable, thus preventing respawns.

Once a player has respawned, they must locate and activate a Mobile Armory to retrieve their loadout.

A giant new map, a dedicated 200-player battle royale with innovative new respawn rules, and a standalone Call of Duty game that’s free for everyone? It all sounds too good to be true, especially if the latest rumor persists: that it’ll launch as early as tomorrow on February 18.

Keep in mind that this speculation is fueled by the simple fact that we’re all guessing Warzone (if that’s what Infinity Ward decides to call it) will launch on a Tuesday.

It’s possible Infinity Ward and publisher Activision could go for maximum shock and awe by launching the game out of the blue – a tactic that’ll almost certainly play better with gamers and the media if its a free-to-play, standalone download as opposed to just a free add-on for those who’ve purchased Modern Warfare.

That being said, our best guess is that we’ll see Warzone launch as a free, standalone game on March 10. That’ll give Infinity Ward and Activision time to polish it and generate buzz with an official trailer (which we’re guessing will debut sometime this week or early next).

We’ve reached out to Infinity Ward and Activision and will update this article if we receive a response.

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