Treyarch has announced the PC and Xbox One starting dates for the Black Ops 4 Blackout beta. The beta will start on September 14 for people who have pre-ordered, four days after the PS4-exclusive beta begins. An open beta will run for PC players a day later on the 15th. Anyone with a Battle.net account will be able to participate.
Blackout is the battle royale mode that is new to the series and will be effectively replacing the campaign. Traditionally, Call of Duty has been divided into three distinct parts: the multiplayer, zombies (or an alternative), and the campaign. Black Ops 4 will have no campaign, and Blackout will now be that third part. Only time will tell whether this becomes the norm for the series, or if this is simply a one-off. Battlefield V will also feature a battle royale mode so it may just be an exception.
Activision has yet to confirm what exactly will be in the beta, but they did say that there would be three modes: solo, duos, and quads. Not a great deal of other information has been revealed about Black Ops 4's new mode, except that players will be able to hop into land, sea and air vehicles and that the map will be comprised of smaller versions of popular maps from previous Black Ops games. It is also unclear how many players Blackout will support.
Battle royale has become a hugely popular genre in the past year, with games like Fortnite and PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds being more popular than anyone could have predicted. Treyarch announced in June that Black Ops 4 would have this new mode, saying this map was the biggest they'd ever done.
Speaking on the response from the Black Ops 4 multiplayer beta that ran earlier this month, Treyarch said “The beta gave us a tremendous amount of feedback — it showed us what needed to be tweaked, tuned, modified, and analyzed further. What has been great is how constructive and articulate you’ve been. This is after all, why developers have betas in the first place.”
Check out the trailer for the Blackout mode below.