Despite already being the biggest mainstream title in the battle royale business as far as match sizes go, a recent and credible in-game leak hints that a 200-player mode is coming soon to Call of Duty: Warzone. The game currently pits 150 players against one another at a time on its massive Verdansk map, and the popular free-to-play standalone certainly isn’t hurting for the player counts needed to throw another 50 into each match. They obviously can, but the real concern is whether developer Infinity Ward should.
Call of Duty: Warzone‘s player numbers are inflated even higher by crossplay between console and PC players (though not between blood feud rivals PlayStation and Xbox, of course), which comes with its own set of challenges and caveats. Chiefly among them is hacking, but trying to curb hacking by PC players in a mainstream multiplayer setting is about as easy as herding cats. There’s also the obvious fact that PC players enjoy competitive advantages like having greater performance, keyboard and mouse as standard input devices, and more robust gameplay settings at their disposal. That raw deal isn’t something that’s lost on many Call of Duty: Modern Warfare players, who willingly forego Warzone and poor man’s Conquest – also known as Ground War – and turn off crossplay for a better core multiplayer experience.
Naturally, those players will continue to not put a dent in Call of Duty: Warzone‘s patent ability to exist on a ridiculous scale, which likely accounts for quite a lot of the game’s swollen file size and is probably going to be dropping even more players into Verdansk soon. A credible leak shared by DissolvexD comprised of a screenshot of the game’s welcome message for new battle royale players as it will presumably look in a yet unreleased build, and the leftmost pane features before unseen modes “BR 200” and “Plunder 200.” If true, these are obviously 200-player versions of Warzone‘s respective bread and butter, though there’s no indication or confirmation of when they’ll become unavailable or if the new modes will fully replace the current 150-player variants.
Considering Verdansk’s almost unnecessarily vast size and the potential for players to experience largely uneventful matches in even 150-player matches, upping the number of boots on the ground by a third sounds like a promising idea on paper. However, it does raise the question of how many players are ideal for Call of Duty: Warzone‘s servers. Some would argue that the current level of network strain is already more than enough for Activision servers’ notoriously timely frailty and persistent in-game lag, but Infinity Ward has seemed confident since Warzone first launched that it can pull of 200-player matches.
Whether in the thick of it or while playing it boringly safe on the grey-and-brown map’s outer edges, it probably won’t make much of a difference to most Call of Duty: Warzone players if another 50 bodies pile up or go AFK before a winning squad is declared. For many, the real takeaway here is probably that fan-favorite Plunder is returning in its regular form in the near-future, having been absent for far too long now.
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