Call of Duty

Analysts Predict That Call of Duty's 'Blackout' Battle Royale Mode Will "Thrive" Against Fortnite

by Albert Petrosyan

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The Private Beta for Call of Duty's new 'Blackout' battle royale mode has received some very positive first impressions after players have now had two days to try it out.

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The initial reviews have been so positive in fact, that it has caught the attention of financial experts and firms, one of which is Benchmark. 

Mike Hickey, an analyst from the firm, has released an investor report, which has been shared by CNBC, in which he notes and acknowledges the strong early performance of Blackout among consumers. 

In the report, the analyst claimed that this early success of Blackout could foreshadow the mode standing up to other popular battle royale titles, including Epic Games' popular Fortnite Battle Royale.

"Upcoming Call of Duty: Black Ops IIII: Blackout, Battle Royale (BR) mode, PS4 beta launched yesterday, greatly exceeding our expectations. Buzz from streamers was sensational, in our view. Popular Twitch streamers were gushing on the quality and fun of the play, while subscriber comments were calling Blackout a Fortnite and/or PUBG killer."

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He even went on further to say that he predicts Blackout could generate more that $500 million in annual sales for Activision, which would allow the mode to "thrive" in the face of Fortnite, which has dominated online gaming for the better part of a year. 

He substantiated this claim by pointing out at the viewership comparison of the two games; the Blackout Private Beta has accumulated nearly 400,000 viewers on Twitch, almost tripling Fortnite's viewership total in the same time-span. 

"We believe Blackout will be a potentially massive hit. We believe the game will migrate investor focus from the Fortnite led BR competitive threat to the opportunity for BR in driving meaningful growth."

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The most impressive thing about Fortnite has been the fact that it has generated record-breaking amounts of revenue despite the fact that the battle royale mode is completely free-to-play - meaning that all of its sales have come from in-game microtransactions.

Treyarch and Activision have not revealed any plans regarding microtransactions in Blackout, but it is likely to be implemented, especially since Call of Duty points are confirmed to be back in Black Ops 4.

Regardless, Blackout will not be free and will come as a mode within BO4, meaning that Activision will at least earn revenue from game unit sales.

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Mike Hickey is not the only one to have noticed the early raving reviews about Blackout; Activision Blizzard shares closed a whopping 7 percent higher on Tuesday and are up 17 percent for the year. 

While Blackout still has a long way to go before it challenges Fortnite in the battle royale genre, it seems that people are already buying into the hype, literally. 

Source - CNBC