Nothing pulls in players like a free-to-play battle royale and a global pandemic. Call of Duty: Warzone has crossed 15 million players in its four days of existence, shooting its way onto the scene. Surprisingly, the explosive growth hasn’t led to too many server issues, though there have been some rather persistent crashes for some PC users.
All of this builds on the success of Modern Warfare, which is the most popular Call of Duty since Black Ops 2. Activision is clearly doing something right, with Warzone previously passing six million in its first 24 hours. It’s matching or exceeding EA’s Apex Legends, which saw ten million in its first three days, but promptly slowed as players called for more patches and new content.
The praise for Warzone so far has centred around its simplified inventory and looting system, vehicles, and core gunplay. However, it also adopts the ping system seen in Apex and lets players respawn if they win a 1v1 ‘gulag’ fight. This approachability has no doubt affected its rise, along with the cross-platform support and trusted brand.
Whether the interest is just a passing fad is impossible to tell at this stage. Admittedly, though, the game probably got a boost due to coronavirus isolation. One Italian ISP reported a 70% increase in internet traffic and a big peak in Fortnite activity after Covid-19 began to spread. CS:GO recently hit a million concurrent players, while Steam itself has seen high levels of activity.
It’s early days, so we don’t have any concurrent stats for Warzone, but Apex has seen over 70 million players in its existence and had 8 – 10 million players per week at its peak. If you want to boost CoD’s numbers, be sure to read up on the best Call of Duty: Warzone settings and the best class setup. There are plenty of avenues to recover from mistakes, but all battle royales come with a hefty learning curve.