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Activision (ATVI) Releases Free COD: Warzone Battle Royale

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Activision Blizzard (ATVI - Free Report) recently released Call of Duty: Warzone, a free-to-play battle royale video game available worldwide for Xbox One, PS 4, and PC. Part of the Call of Duty (COD) franchise, Warzone has been developed by Infinity Ward, Raven Software.

Set in the fictional city of Verdansk, COD: Warzone allows online multiplayer combat with more than 300 points of interest and landmarks for looting. The game supports up to 150 players in a single match, which exceeds the typical size of 100 players seen in other battle royale titles.

COD: Warzone is a spin-off of the 2019 title COD: Modern Warfare and features both cross-platform play and cross-platform progression between both games.

Details of COD: Warzone Gameplay

The game comes with two modes — battle royale and plunder. The battle royale mode is similar to other titles in the genre where players compete in a continuously shrinking map to be the last player remaining.

Additionally, the team at Infinity Ward has produced an official strategy guide and an interactive map to help players in combat.

Moreover, the newly installed plunder gameplay mode is unique to COD: Warzone. It is the second battle royale instalment of the COD franchise, following the Blackout mode of COD: Black Ops 4.

Activision Blizzard, Inc Price and Consensus

Activision Blizzard, Inc Price and Consensus

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Warzone plunder differs from Black Ops 4 by reducing reliance on ammunitions and gadgets and instead encouraging the accumulation of a new in-game currency called Cash. Players get to use Cash at Buy Stations in and around Verdansk and to purchase items such as killstreaks and gas masks during game play.

Further, the newly introduced Gulag offers players with an all-new way to earn a second chance at survival in Battle Royale. Upon being eliminated, players will be taken to Gulag for a one-on-one gunfight with another fallen player. The winner gets a chance to be redeployed in the match.

Activision Rides on Franchise Strength

The COD franchise is one of Activision’s major growth drivers. Notably, the game has been the top-selling console franchise for the company in 10 of the last 11 years.

In the fourth quarter 2019, COD: Mobile installs exceeded 150 million. The game ended the fourth quarter as one of the top 15 grossing games on U.S. app stores. Modern Warfare saw strong growth in full-game downloads, with console digital mix at nearly 50%. In-game net bookings grew a double-digit percentage versus Black Ops 4.

Moreover, the company is stepping up investments in other popular franchises. The company expects to deploy more resources in its franchises, including Overwatch, King’s Candy Crush, Warcraft, Diablo and Hearthstone.

Intensifying Competition

Activision faces significant competition from the likes of Take Two Interactive Software (TTWO - Free Report) , Zynga (ZNGA - Free Report) and Electronic Arts (EA - Free Report) , among others.

Notably, Take Two’s Red Dead Redemption 2 has sold 29 million copies while Borderlands 3 shipped 8 million units worldwide.

Moreover, EA’s Apex Legends, NBA Live 20, Plants vs. Zombies, and Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order have also gained popularity.

Nevertheless, Activision’s franchise strength, exciting content and new releases make it well poised for near-term growth.

Activision Blizzard currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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