While Treyarch co-head Dan Bunting alluded to certain mainstay battle royale elements that the Blackout mode will likely have — survival gameplay, equipment looting, a shrinking map — he declined to go into further detail about much else, including the new mode’s player count.
“I’m not prepared to do a walkthrough of the features and how it works,” he told Variety shortly after the game’s unveiling in a massive California hanger to a gathering of 900 or so fans, press, and influencers. “It is the biggest multiplayer experience we’ve ever done. It’s larger than any map. And we’re bringing a lot of the fan favorite features to the game — characters, weapons, and vehicles.”
We know from the brief high-level video shown for the mode and its introduction on stage that the game’s map will be 1,500 times bigger than Nuke Town. It’s also supposed to be a “Black Ops” iteration of a battle royale, which, in the eyes of Tryearch, means it will have the most refined mechanics in the world.
We also know the game will feature land, sea and air vehicles along with a cast pulled from everything from zombie mode characters to figures from all of the “Black Ops” games.
Bunting said the team has been very inspired by the battle royale genre as it’s developed and evolved.
“What the battle royale genre tells us about this phenomenon is that people have a real hunger for large-scale multiplayer combat,” he said.
While Treyarch’s interest in battle royale has been around for awhile, Bunting’s interest didn’t stem from playing the genre.
“The moment of interest for me was how many people were watching live streams of it around the office,” he said.
This was in February of last year — maybe a year into the development of “Black Ops 4.” The team was already thinking of new ways to innovate, and they were captivated by how the game created a phenomenon that was enjoyed not just by players, but also by viewers.
“It got everyone’s gears started,” Bunting said.