We’ve known since May that Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 will have a battle royale mode similar to PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds and Fortnite, and now developer Treyarch has confirmed when the prerelease beta test will go live for players to get a taste of that action. The mode, called Blackout, will enter a “private beta” on PlayStation 4 beginning September 10.
We still don’t have a lot of details, but Treyarch posted a new teaser video to Twitter. The clip doesn’t show any gameplay, but it does confirm that players will have the option to go into matches as lone wolves or as teams of two or four. The video also says that the Blackout private beta will come to “other platforms” at a later date, so have some patience Xbox One and PC fans.
So how do you get into this private beta? You preorder the game. So it’s not so much “private” as it is a preorder bonus. Of course, Activision tends to open up these betas to everybody after a day or two, so again: patience.
Blackout should end up as a crucial addition to Call of Duty: Black Ops 4. For the first time in the history of the franchise, a new release won’t have a single-player campaign. Treyarch wants to make up for that with extra Zombies modes and the popular last-player-standing mode that has helped Fortnite and PUBG succeed.
But those other battle royale games are significantly different in style to Call of Duty. They have massive maps and vehicles, and those are things we haven’t seen in the multiplayer for this series before. Fortnite and PUBG also support 100 players in a match, which is also something Call of Duty has never even tried before.
We still don’t know about map sizes, vehicles, or player count for Blackout, so the mode is wrapped in mystery. But we should have our answers in about a month … and then the mode will just have to prove itself in an increasingly crowded genre.