When the makers of Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 announced yesterday that the upcoming game will come with its very own battle royale mode, Blackout, they refrained from answering one big question: How many people will it support? The answer, it appears, is that developer Treyarch just doesn't know yet.
Fortnite and PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds are the two top games in the "drop a bunch of people on a map and make them kill each other until there's just one left" genre. They both support 100 players per match.
Back when we first heard that Black Ops 4 was getting a battle royale mode, however, we heard from a person familiar with development of the game that the developers had not yet been able to replicate that. Now that Blackout is official, Treyarch has been vague.
"No, we're not saying how many players," Treyarch studio director David Vonderhaar told Kotaku features editor Chris Kohler when he asked yesterday at the world premiere event in Los Angeles. "We're working on trying to figure out what the exact right magic number is for a battle royale game in the Black Ops universe... I'll tell you what. If you look at the video that we showed, and you play it back, I think you'll find your answer. You'll possibly find your answer if you do some sleuthing. Maybe."
So there's one option. Count the number of yellow dots here:
Or maybe don't, because that probably won't give you an answer either. Treyarch was equally frustrating in its response to Eurogamer, with co-studio head Dan Bunting telling the outlet that Blackout's player count will be "multiples higher than the highest we've ever done."
What does that mean? Who knows? I asked Activision for elaboration today and the publisher sent over this statement, also attributed to Bunting:
Yesterday, we revealed Blackout, a massive new battle royale experience coming in Black Ops 4 at launch, October 12. Blackout delivers an experience that's uniquely Black Ops featuring characters, weapons and gear from across the series on the biggest map ever in the franchise — over 1500 times greater than Nuketown and a player count that is an order of magnitude above anything previously in Call of Duty.
We're deep in development and actively playtesting to optimise the gameplay to deliver a final player count that gives fans what they expect from a Black Ops experience, and we look forward to sharing more with the community soon.
In other words: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯