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Suspected PUBG-killer Black Ops 4 has not killed PUBG

Blackout vs PUBG? The fight hasn't had much effect on the now-venerable battle royale

call of duty black ops 4 blackout

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4’s Blackout mode is the first triple-A take on battle royale, and you might have seen a few predictions about how the mode would kill Fortnite or PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. You might’ve noticed that neither of those games are dead just yet, and with PUBG we have numbers to show exactly what effect Blackout has had on the game that started the battle royale craze.

In short: not much. PUBG player count has been on a downward trend ever since hitting its astronomical peak back in January, and while that trend has continued over the past week there hasn’t been a significant difference since the launch of Black Ops 4. PUBG was down 4% this past weekend compared to the week previous, and that decline is actually a bit less than the usual.

The folks at GitHyp did the math, though with a reliance on publically available Steam numbers, we can’t directly compare player counts against Black Ops 4 and Fortnite, both of which are exclusive to the launchers of their respective publishers.

It’s worth noting that the biggest portion of PUBG players are in China. Steam Charts shows that the highest daily peaks come during prime time in Asia, slowly declining as the evening hours come in Europe and North America – when most games are at their most popular. Black Ops 4 isn’t available in China – many big games aren’t – so there’s unlikely to be much effect there.

There’s also the fact that over the past decade, Call of Duty has become an increasingly console-focused series, which means PC player numbers aren’t necessarily the best way to judge its success. Even with a largely solid PC port – just check out our Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 PC review – the latest game is still getting timed-exclusive content on PlayStation 4 and will likely see the largest part of its player base on console.