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Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 December 14 Update: Blackout Custom Games Details + More

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Another day, another update from Treyarch!

Treyarch released the latest Game Settings Update for Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 across all platforms today and brought Double XP for the weekend, alongside providing additional details on what’s to come to Blackout soon.

Treyarch has also announced that Custom Games for Blackout is coming next week, with Weapon Camo support for the mode as well. Custom Games in Blackout will support up to 12 players when it launches, with more to come over time. Weapon Camos will be available in Blackout Custom Games as well.

From Treyarch: 

The weekend has arrived, Operation Absolute Zero is upon us, and the holidays are nearly here. Here at Treyarch, that can mean only one thing… it’s 2XP time! Now live through 10AM PT on Dec. 17, we’ve turned on 2XP in Multiplayer and Zombies and 2X Merits in Blackout on all platforms!

We’ve also launched a limited-time mode in Blackout this weekend through 10AM PT on Dec. 17: Close Quarters Frenzy! While some of you will remember an early version of this one back in our Blackout Beta, we’ve made gameplay improvements and added more weapons in the meantime for a truly frantic fight to the center of the circle. The rules are simple:

  1. Outrun an even faster Collapse than usual.
  2. Take out your enemies using only SMGs, shotguns, pistols, launchers, and melee weapons.
  3. Don’t die.

We’re excited to jump into Blackout with friends this weekend in Close Quarters Frenzy in Quads… and in our next update, we’re expanding how players will interact with the mode through the introduction of Blackout Weapon Camos and Custom Games.

Weapon Camo support is coming to Blackout across the entire mode, including in Custom Games. Here’s how it works, with more details to come with our next update:

  • Camos earned in Multiplayer, Zombies, and the Black Market can be applied in Blackout.
  • Players set up their Weapon Camos in the new Armory menu prior to a match.
  • Player will see their selected camos applied when they pick up those weapons in-game.
  • Support will be included for Blackout Custom Games.

Blackout Custom Games will allow players to drop into their own private match to explore the map, visit destinations at their own pace, and practice Black Ops 4’s battle royale experience with teams of friends. As a starting point, Custom Games in Blackout will be introduced with a maximum player count of 12. As with all features in Black Ops 4, this will evolve over time as we evaluate how players are engaging with the system, and that includes increasing player count and expanding feature support.

At launch next week, Blackout Custom Games will support:

  • Up to 12 players per match
  • Solos, Duos, or Quads
  • Weapon Camo support
  • Full character customization support
  • Online only to ensure each Custom Game is up-to-date

We’re eager to see what you do when you’ve got the freedom to explore every nook and cranny of the Blackout world. Who knows how many secrets are still out there to discover?

Two additional items of note: in Blackout, we’ve increased the chances of finding Character Mission items in Zombies Stashes to help out our Blackout Character Mission hunters – and in Multiplayer, we’ve temporarily pulled Jungle from rotation to address a gameplay issue with ladders, and will return it to its rightful place in our next update.

Today’s Patch:

ALL PLATFORMS

General

  • Event
    • 2XP now live in Multiplayer and Zombies through 10AM PT Monday, Dec. 17.

Blackout

  • Event
    • 2X Merits now live in Blackout through 10AM PT Monday, Dec. 17.
  • Limited Time Mode
    • Close Quarters Frenzy (Quads) now live in Blackout through 10AM PT Monday, Dec. 17.
  • Character Missions
    • Increased the chances of finding a Character Mission item in a Zombies Stash.
    • Increased the number of Zombies Stashes that can include Character Mission items per match.

SOURCE: Treyarch

Call of Duty

Activision executives reportedly discussing end of Call of Duty annual releases

A new report claims Activision are considering scrapping the series’ annual release schedule following Microsoft’s buyout.

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Vanguard and Modern Warfare 2 characters

Activision Blizzard executives are reportedly considering ending the Call of Duty franchise’s annual release schedule, with Bloomberg claiming discussions are ongoing.

For years, fans have become accustomed to receiving a new Call of Duty game every year. Without fail, Activision have published the latest entry in the legendary FPS franchise in October or November, giving players a new game to grind into the holiday seasons.

Some players have suggested this isn’t always a good thing, as this cycle gives CoD’s three developers a limited time to work on games, which can sometimes lead to issues when they launch. Sledgehammer Games have already delayed Vanguard Season 2 to try and address the problems plaguing the game.

Now, it appears that Activision’s higher-ups may be coming around to the idea of ending yearly releases for good.

Vanguard players running in-game

According to a new report from Bloomberg, high-level employees at Activision “have discussed moving away from the annual release schedule.”

Jason Schreier reports that these plans haven’t been finalized yet, but there is a belief among the franchise’s development teams that this would “please players and help bolster the franchise” by lightening the intense workloads they currently face.

This debate has been sparked after the lackluster reception to Vanguard, although Schreier states any change is unlikely to happen for at least a year or two, with Activision banking on 2022’s rumored Modern Warfare II to boost the franchise.

The move away from yearly releases would certainly offer developers more time to tweak and polish the game, and avoid many of the criticisms leveled at their games in the early days. Halo fans had to wait 6 years for Infinite, but the game was met with widespread acclaim at launch.

With the Microsoft acquisition of Activision, it’s expected that we could see some major changes to the publisher’s titles, although Phil Spencer has moved to calm fears that CoD could become an Xbox exclusive title.

For more on what could happen, check out how Microsoft and Xbox Studios could change Call of Duty forever.

Image Credits: Activision Blizzard

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Here’s why 54% of CoD fans are happy about Microsoft’s Activision buyout

A recent poll revealed that 54% of Call of Duty fans were positive about Microsoft’s Activision buyout, and here’s their reasoning.

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CoD's Captain Price and Microsoft Activision Blizzard

It was revealed in a Charlie INTEL poll that the majority of Call of Duty fans were glad of Microsoft’s planned Activision Blizzard takeover, with 54% agreeing it’s a good thing.

The game’s industry was shocked when Microsoft announced they’re planning to buy Activision Blizzard King for almost $70 billion. This gives them exclusive rights to some of the biggest gaming franchises in the world such as Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, and Overwatch.

We asked the Call of Duty community their thoughts, and the majority were excited about the franchise’s future under Microsoft. However, some were more hesitant to celebrate the news.

54% of CoD players say Microsoft’s Activision buyout is a good thing

Charlie INTEL conducted a poll on January 19, roughly 24 hours after the monumental news broke, asking Call of Duty fans: “What’s your reaction to the Microsoft buyout of Activision Blizzard?”

Over half of the 28,000 votes believed it will be a good thing. Just over 12% think it will be bad for the industry, and 33% aren’t sure yet.

Unfortunately, Microsoft’s plans for Activision’s properties are as clear as mud. They sound hopeful that Activision titles will hit Xbox Game Pass, but we’ll likely need to wait until the acquisition goes through to know more.

Why CoD players are happy with Microsoft’s Activision buyout

Microsoft buying Activision Blizzard

Several players explained why they think Microsoft’s Activision Blizzard takeover is a good thing.

“For worker culture at Activision Blizzard it seems like things will likely improve,” said popular Call of Duty leaker TheGhostOfHope. “COD will likely see a much more healthy developer ecosystem as well. Microsoft being able to buy the competition like they are is a slippery slope long term though. Overall I’d say it’s good.”

One player was extremely positive about the acquisition, saying that “if anyone thinks this is a bad thing” then “you need to think again.” They believe that “Microsoft has come a long way and isn’t spending 70 billion to make CoD worse. It can only get better. But it will take time.”

Many were hopeful that Microsoft would scrap Call of Duty’s yearly release cycle. Both Black Ops Cold War and Vanguard were released with broken and missing features, and many players believe these developers should be given much more time to perfect the game.

“I overall see this as a good thing and can hope that xbox will stop the yearly cod cycle and fix warzone,” said one player. TangoCheeseball echoed their statement, saying they hope that Microsoft supports CoD 2022 for two years, and then Treyarch returns with a new title in 2024 or 2025.

Xbox players were obviously glad, expecting to receive exclusive content and Call of Duty on Game Pass. “I’m on Xbox so game pass bouta be blessed but not sure if it’ll be a upgrade for Cod or if it will just stay the same. Either way a positive for xbox,” said LiLbotboi.

But of course, not every player was happy about the acquisition. Many had doubts over Microsoft’s monopoly over the games industry, with them already owning Bethesda, and worried that Call of Duty would go Xbox/PC exclusive.

“If they choose to make all of Activision’s future games exclusive to Xbox/PC, it’s doing a disservice to all gamers,” said Elkucuy.

Newbro101_ was more open-minded, saying: “It’s way too early to tell if it’s a good thing or not, once I notice an actual change in games it’s good [I guess].”


There’s no way of knowing what Microsoft has in store for Call of Duty and its development teams. We can only hope the change is positive for both Activision staff and the CoD community.

However, we have some thoughts on what may change, so check out the five ways Microsoft buying Activision could change Call of Duty forever.

Image Credits: Activision Blizzard / Microsoft

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How Microsoft buying Activision could change Call of Duty forever

Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard is a seizmic shift for gaming, and Xbox could make make some major changes to Call of Duty.

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Call of Duty characters with the CoD logo

The world of gaming was rocked on January 18 when Microsoft confirmed they had agreed to buy Activision Blizzard. With Xbox Studios set to add CoD’s developers to their sprawling family of game creators, we take a look at five ways Call of Duty could change forever.

It’s rare that real surprises take place in the gaming industry, but everyone was left speechless when word of Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard broke on January 18. Worth close to $70 billion according to reports, it immediately becomes gaming’s biggest buyout ever.

The deal, which will close before June 2023, will see CoD developers Treyarch, Infinity Ward, Sledgehammer Games, and Raven Software all become wider parts of the Xbox Studios family, bringing past and future Call of Duty titles with them.

With such a seismic change, what could the Microsoft buyout mean for the future of the series, and what changes could Xbox Studios make to Call of Duty moving forward? We’ve picked out five ways the legendary FPS franchise could change forever once the deal is complete.

Xbox's Acitivison Blizzard acquisition image featuring Overwatch, CoD, and WoW.

Call of Duty becomes Xbox-exclusive

The topic on every Call of Duty fan’s lips right now is Xbox exclusivity. With Microsoft adding the biggest console FPS title to their portfolio, they could use it to drive consumers away from the PS5 by announcing that future CoD titles are only available on the Xbox Series X|S.

Thankfully, that seems fairly unlikely, at least for the time being. Microsoft Gaming’s CEO Phil Spencer has already eased fears, telling Bloomberg that “it’s not our intent to pull communities away from [Sony’s] platform, and we remain committed to that.”

Still, we wouldn’t expect to see Sony’s deal for exclusive content on PlayStation consoles continue for long, with Microsoft likely to move that feature to Xbox as soon as possible.


A focus on Ranked Play

Ranked Play is a controversial word for CoD players. For years, players have bemoaned the franchise’s lackluster, and sometimes entirely missing, ranked playlists. A decade on, Black Ops 2’s League Play is still the gold standard in the franchise.

Under Xbox though, this might finally change. Halo Infinite featured a ranked playlist at launch, something we’ve been begging developers to do for years.

It’s unlikely that this will be Xbox’s biggest focus, but perhaps we could see CoD developers following 343 Industries’ path in the future.

Call of Duty Ranked play emblems

CoD’s annual release schedule ends

This one is pretty unlikely, but as it stands, Xbox don’t have any titles that release on a yearly schedule – something Call of Duty is synonymous with.

Halo fans had to wait six years between Guardians and Infinite, and while we don’t think there would ever be such a huge gap between titles, Xbox Studios may be more open to granting developers more time to polish games before release.

A greater focus on frequent Warzone updates, and using existing Xbox studios to help Raven Software, could help to plug a longer gap between mainline franchise releases.


Remastered CoD games & Xbox Game Pass

Game Pass has been a huge focus for Xbox, giving players the opportunity to play hundreds of games, starting at $9.99 a month. What better way to get Call of Duty players on the service than adding fan-favorite titles to its extensive library?

Who wouldn’t be pulling out their credit card to get back into CoD 4’s legendary campaign, or to dive into World At War’s classic Zombies mode?

If Microsoft wanted to go the extra mile, they could even add remastered versions of these games. Rumors suggest that an updated version of Modern Warfare 2 multiplayer was in development at one point, and Game Pass could be the perfect place to release it.

Modern Warfare 2 players fighting on Rust

Amazing crossovers

Minecraft Steve in Zombies? Master Chief in multiplayer? Forza cars in Warzone? All of these crazy ideas are now possible, as we expect to see major crossovers between Xbox games and Call of Duty.

While CoD’s Attack on Titan collaboration wasn’t well-received, the teams who create Microsoft’s iconic characters could actively work with studios like Sledgehammer and Raven to create awesome skins and cosmetics.

And really, who wouldn’t want to win a Warzone match as a kitted-out Spartan from Halo?

Spartan in Halo Infinite

Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard creates so many options and theories, it could make your head spin. The reality is that we’ve never seen any deal as big as this in gaming, and the possibilities are endless. These are just a few possibilities, but Xbox may have even bigger plans than we could imagine.

With so many ideas and concerns, all we can do for now is wait and see how it all plays out. Still, we can’t contain our excitement at what could come next when the deal concludes before June 2023.

Image Credits: Activision Blizzard / Microsoft / 343 Industries

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