Blackout Gets a New Map, is Free for the Month

Posted on April 2, 2019 by Paul Thurrott in Games, Windows 10, Xbox One with 3 Comments

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4’s struggling battle royale mode, called Blackout, is getting a new Alcatraz map this week. Better still, Blackout will be free on all platforms through April 30.

News of the freebie—there’s an asterisk to that—comes via a quick burst at the end of a video showing off the new Alcatraz map, which debuts to today on PlayStation 4 and comes to PC and Xbox One next week. “Blackout Free Access,” the video notes, runs from “April 2 to April 30.”

That said, you’ll need an Xbox Live Gold membership to play it on Xbox One. Which isn’t free.

But the freebie is well-timed: Despite the strength and size of the Call of Duty community, Blackout has struggled to gain much traction against battle royale juggernauts like Fornite and Apex Legends, both of which are free all the time. Activision’s decision to follow the battle royale trend is understandable, but tying it to a $60 AAA game title might have been a bit limiting.

As for the new map, Alctatraz looks like an excellent setting, and I do feel that the future of battle royale games will involve more location diversity, meaning more maps. In fact, this would be a good map for traditional COD multiplayer. Which I still prefer.

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