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Call of Duty: Warzone Season 1 release time - here’s when Caldera opens up

Vanguard owners get 24 hours of exclusive access to the new Warzone battle royale map

A firefight breaks out in a village on Caldera, the new battle royale map for Call of Duty: Warzone.

A new Season One of Call of Duty: Warzone is about to begin, and this time it’s a big one. The bleak industrial foothills of Verdansk are making way for the vibrant volcanic island of Caldera, a WW2-themed battle royale game map to match this year’s Call of Duty: Vanguard. Here’s when you’ll be able to play on Caldera.

First off, you’ll want to know when you can pre-load the update. That begins tonight, December 7, at 9pm PT, which translates to December 8 12am ET / 5am GMT. This is also when Warzone servers will go offline to start the changeover to the new Season 1 and Caldera map.

December 8, players who own Call of Duty: Vanguard will be able to start playing Warzone on Caldera at 9am PT / 12pm ET / 5pm GMT. These players will have exclusive access to the map for 24 hours, although everyone else will still be able to play on the Rebirth Island map for some ‘mini’ battle royale action.

Here’s the full breakdown of the Season One launch week, courtesy of the official Call of Duty Twitter feed:

Warzone players who don’t own Vanguard will be able to start playing on Caldera and working on Season One content December 9, beginning at 9am PT / 12pm ET / 5pm GMT.

You can find out more about Call of Duty: Warzone’s new map right here.

Activision Blizzard is facing a lawsuit filed in July by the state of California (since expanded for QA and customer service contractors) alleging years of discrimination and harassment. Since then, CEO Bobby Kotick has called the company’s initial response “tone deaf”, employees have staged a walkout, Blizzard president J Allen Brack has left, and the ABK Workers Alliance has demanded change at the company. The lawsuit is ongoing; follow the latest developments here.

In September, an agency of the US federal government opened an investigation into Activision Blizzard’s response to sexual misconduct and discrimination complaints from its employees, as part of which Kotick has reportedly been subpoenaed. The company is also facing a separate unfair labour practice suit alleging “worker intimidation and union busting” filed by a workers’ union, also in September. In another, separate development, Activision Blizzard reached an agreement with the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission “to settle claims and to further strengthen policies and programs to prevent harassment and discrimination”. In a subsequent letter to employees, the company has announced an end to forced arbitration, a $250 million initiative to improve diversity, and a major pay cut for Kotick.

A new report published this November now alleges Bobby Kotick knew about and suppressed reports of sexual misconduct. Kotick has responded with an official statement saying the Wall Street Journal’s article “paints an inaccurate and misleading view of our company, of me personally, and my leadership.” In reply, Activision Blizzard’s board of directors declared it “remains confident” in Kotick’s leadership.