Today, all major game makers are looking to replicate Fortnite’s success. Will Warzone succeed or be a failure?
Battle Royale has proven itself not just a temporary trend because, after PUBG, many other titles have gained a foothold in the market thanks to different variations such as Fortnite, Apex Legends, Hunt: Showdown. So the fact that Call of Duty: Modern Warfare has a Battle Royale game mode is not too surprising for gamers, even before rumors of flying “filled with sky.”
But although Call of Duty: Warzone is not the first time Activision has released a Call of Duty Battle Royale game, this is a big step for Activision in exploiting this genre. Unlike its predecessor, Black Ops 4, which requires gamers to pay a small amount to play when launched (Activision was forced to do so due to the lack of content of the game), Warzone is a free game. If only anyone could jump into battle.
It is no coincidence that in recent years, the message “Call of Duty Free” is Activision repeated every time they mention Warzone. The publisher wants to emphasize that Warzone welcomes everyone, and there is no threshold to pass to enjoy it. So I think this game has a heavy burden to play: Activision is hoping that it will be the third most significant revenue source for the Call of Duty brand after major titles are released every year and Call of Duty Mobile.
Three factors will help the game succeed
Indeed, when you look at the success of previous PUBG or Fortnite, you will quickly realize that Battle Royale is still a gold mine. While PUBG has very slow, stressful, and risky gameplay (because gamers can “flip over” before seeing the opponent), Fortnite follows an animated + construction style. Apex Legends comes in. in the future, there is no game set in the present context with “genuine” military weapons. Warzone jumped into this gap, and with Free to Play, Call of Duty’s reputation, plus the financial strength of Activision, Warzone could become a new tree of their money.
I’m not fictional that Call of Duty’s reputation is one factor that can help Warzone succeed. Despite what anti-fans in particular and gamers, in general, expressed about the game, the words of “dead game” or irony that the game is now just an unimaginable dairy cow, the Call of brand Duty is still number one in terms of sales. According to what is known, Call of Duty has won 8 of the ten best-selling game titles of the past decade in the US, only to slip this title into the hands of “super heavyweight” rivals Red Dead Redemption (2010) and GTA 5 (2013).
Meanwhile, Activision’s financial strength is also very formidable. This publisher has enough money to run advertising campaigns, hire famous streamers to experience the game directly, help spread the game to the gaming community, and entice them with reputation and pieces bait free. Even in the worst case, when Warzone is at a loss, they can prolong the game’s survival while Infinity Ward looks for the cause and fixes the problem.
But Free to play is the “trump card” of Warzone. When a game is free, gamers often see the wrong side that it attracts cheat hacking because the free account is locked and does not lose anything, but many people do not think if the game is not free, not sure. They and many other gamers will touch the game. With Free to Play, Warzone will appeal to a huge gaming community, and many of them will spend money on microtransaction. If the gameplay is balanced correctly and microtransaction does not make gamers feel bloody, a Free to Play game can bring mountains of cash that Pay to Play has not dreamed, which has been proven many times throughout the years.
Lessons and risks
And Warzone can also become a lesson for other game developers and publishers. If the game is successful, the game village will realize that it is unnecessary to release the game sequentially 1 – 2 or the original version – spin-off. They will find that they can fully develop multiple sessions. The game version works in tandem with each other, the free “buff” for the fee and vice versa. It will not be surprising to see this model used by other games, such as a long-running Battlefield Firestorm while Battlefield 6, 7, 8,.. constantly launching with Campaign and traditional Multiplayer modes purse.
Until now, the only concern I have about the potential for the success of Warzone is whether we even know if Call of Duty 2020 will have a Battle Royale or if Activision will replace it after just one year or not. According to rumors, the Call of Duty 2020 game is being developed by Treyarch with Raven and Sledgehammer, while Sledgehammer himself is making another free Call of Duty title. If one of these two games has Battle Royale, they will seriously affect gamers’ loyalty to Warzone and make them close their wallets because there is no reason to spend all the money on a game. That game was abandoned after less than a year of launch.
Fans of Blackout mode (Black Ops 4) must have experienced this when Warzone was released and attracted a significant part of the Blackout gaming community. This community was not much because the game was pay to play and only showed signs of revival when Blackout had a few short free rounds to get back into it. So if Activision wants Warzone to succeed, it will have to remove Battle Royale from the list of game modes of upcoming games in 2020 and 2021 to avoid treading between them.
Today, all major game makers are looking to replicate Fortnite’s success, and each company has its unique tactics. Many of the big names in the shooting game village have failed, so it’s too early to say whether Activision will succeed with Warzone or whether Warzone will survive for long. But with Activision releasing a high-quality and free to play Battle Royale title, we can at least confirm that they are on the right track.