Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 recently announced a new map for its popular Battle Royale mode, Blackout. Named Alcatraz, the reveal trailer for the map showed off a much-needed addition to the current game mode as well as a sneaky tidbit at the very end: that Treyarch was going to make Blackout free to play for the entire month of April.
Call of Duty: Black Ops 4's Battle Royale mode was first made available to the public for beta testing on September 10 last year. Ever since then, the game mode has flourished even as the game came under fire for its liberal use of microtransactions and the controversy surrounding the DLC Season Pass.
The official launch trailer for Alcatraz on the Call of Duty YouTube channel not only gave fans a look at the chaotic environment but also noted in its last few seconds that there would be yet another Blackout free-to-play period lasting until the end of the month. It looks like this is going to be a free play period that lasts across all platforms until that date. Note that players lucky enough to be enjoying the title on PlayStation will already have access to the Alcatraz map as part of this free experience, but players on PC and Xbox are going to have to wait a while longer to hit up more than just the base Blackout map.
It's nice to see that Treyarch is allowing players to get a glimpse of all the hard work that went into the new Alcatraz mode before deciding whether or not to shell out for everything else. It's a good way to capitalize on the buzz that has been generated by the map's release, and it's hard to see a downside to more eyeballs on new content. If the Blackout free-to-play month goes well, it's likely that the studio is banking on people wanting to pick up copies of the full game. After making some missteps earlier in the year with pricing and loot issues, this could be the win that Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 needs to compete with some of the newer releases that also revolve around a service model.
The Blackout free to play month has already kicked off, and it looks like it's going to last until April 30. This should give those who haven't yet had a taste of the game more than enough time to get acquainted with what the latest Alcatraz map has to offer the Battle Royale mode. If all goes to plan, Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 could well see a new influx of players to kick off May.
Source: Call of Duty/YouTube