A new investor report from an analyst shared by CNBC states that initial response to Call of Duty: Black Ops 4’s new Battle Royale mode Blackout has been ‘incredible’ from the first impressions. The firm, Benchmark, believes Blackout can thrive against Epic Games’ Fortnite.
Activision’s “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,” analyst Mike Hickey said in a note Tuesday. “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.”
The investor also stated that they believe Activision can generate $500 million annually from Blackout mode in Black Ops 4, depending on how they monetize the mode. Plans for post launch monetizing has not been announced for Blackout, but Call of Duty Points are returning to the game, Activision has confirmed.
Thanks to Blackout Beta’s popularity thus far, Activision Blizzard stock rose 6.1 percent on Tuesday, closing at $79.50 per share. The company’s current market cap is valued at $60 billion.
The analyst said the “Call of Duty” beta generated nearly 400,000 viewers on Twitch, nearly tripling “Fortnite’s” number. He estimates the game’s battle royale mode can generate more than $500 million of annual incremental sales.
“We believe Blackout will be a potentially massive hit,” he said. “We believe the game will migrate investor focus from the Fortnite led BR competitive threat to the opportunity for BR in driving meaningful growth.”
Obviously with Fortnite being free to play, Epic Games still holds an advantage over Call of Duty. Activision has not stated what the future of Blackout holds beyond Black Ops 4.