Call of Duty

Shroud explains why “fun” Call of Duty Blackout mode was doomed to fail

by Isaac McIntyre
Activision-Treyarch / Mixer: Shroud

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Call of Duty’s first foray into the battle royale genre with Black Ops 4’s Blackout was always doomed to fail, Michael ‘shroud’ Grzesiek believes, with timing, playerbase, and the nature of the franchise all playing a role in its demise.

While he’s been dabbling in Escape from Tarkov recently, and had a stint playing World of Warcraft Classic when the remade MMORPG first launched, shroud has ⁠— for the most part ⁠— stuck to what he knows best: shooters.

In particular, the Mixer superstar is a leading name in a host of first-person battle royales, from PUBG and Apex Legends, to Call of Duty’s short-lived first stint in the genre, Blackout, which launched in Treyach’s Black Ops 4.

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During his March 1 stream, one loyal fan asked Grzesiek if they could pay him $6.90 to give Blackout “one more chance.” The Mixer star declined the request, and explained he wouldn’t be able to anyway because of the playerbase.

According to the streaming star, Blackout was always going to struggle to keep interest after its release, especially its PC version, and added the timing of Treyach’s battle royale release just added to its rapid-paced disappearance.

Mixer: shroud
Shroud said he doesn't expect he'll ever return to Blackout due to the dwindling playerbase.

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At its core, Blackout was a “fun” title, shroud said, but because Call of Duty is primarily a console-based franchise, and Apex Legends exploded onto the scene soon after the battle royale was finally finding its feet, interest died out.

“Nobody plays that on PC anymore, I promise. I promise if I tried to dabble in it, and tried to play it on PC, I bet you I don’t even get a lobby,” shroud told his fan eager to see him return to Black Ops 4’s coastal 100-player warzone.

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The Mixer star added Blackout may still be thriving on console, but a few external factors denied it the chance to really stretch its wings — Call of Duty’s yearly releases, and the arrival of Respawn’s Apex launch in February.

“Blackout was a fun game actually… it was an Apex before Apex Legends existed. That’s what Blackout was, and it was sick. I really enjoyed it, and it only got better. Games like that don’t last on PC though,” he added.

And that, at its core, was the reason it suffered, he said. With the player bases split, dwindling lobby-counts were felt all the harsher. “I was hoping to see some crossplay in the future, but we just never got it,” shroud concluded.

For mobile readers, the related segment begins at 12:35 in the video below.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qVptMbKe1iA

Funnily enough, shroud’s 2020 sentiments echo what he first said about Treyach’s battle royale back in October 2018: “At the end of the day it’s CoD, and I feel people are going to get over it pretty quick,” he said.

At the time he was streaming with Tyler ‘Ninja’ Blevins, who disagreed “because of the battle royale,” and suggested the franchise titles only get old when they’re based around the annual multiplayer features of the games.

In the end, however, shroud was right, and it leaves one wondering if Modern Warfare’s new Warzone battle royale will fair any better.

Infinity Ward
Will Warzone suffer a similar fate to Blackout after it releases this month?

Call of Duty fans will know the answer soon enough, it seems, after famous game leaker TheGamingRevolution revealed Infinity Ward’s take on the ever-popular battle royale genre could be dropping on March 10.’

That’s not all that’s been leaked either: character animations, in-game challenges, and the amount of players set to duke it out have all been dug out of the title’s code ⁠— now all that’s left is to see if Warzone outlasts Blackout.