Call of Duty: Warzone is just over three months old, but it's quickly become one of the most beloved first-person battle-royale games around as it steadily gains ground against the likes of Fortnite and Apex Legends. Now, new leaks indicate that Infinity Ward could be planning to expand Warzone in a way that'll make it far bigger than any of its rivals — and it should present even more of a challenge for its diehard player base.
A major update was teased within Call of Duty: Modern Warfare over the weekend when Activision offered Warzone players free access to the game’s premium multiplayer modes between June 12 and 15, and some of the teasers included hinted that the battle royale could soon support 200-player lobbies, a huge 33 percent increase from the current limit of 150 players per match. Actually winning a match, particularly in free-for-all, will therefore be that much harder.
When new players redeemed this limited-time deal, an introductory message appeared over Warzone’s main menu with three images (shared on Twitter by user @DissolvexD). The image to the left teased an all-new roster of game modes including “200 BR,” “200 Plunder,” and “BR Juggernaut.” Each of these additions has been confirmed to be in development by Activision and Infinity Ward, but various release dates haven't been announced just yet. But if they're getting teased in-game, then they all might be right around the corner.
“Juggernaut Royale” was also recently mentioned in an official blog post for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Season 4, which includes Warzone. The riff on the classic battle royale mode drops three Juggernaut suits that grant “higher health [and] a mini-gun” into the map. Before that announcement, players spotted glitched-out, Juggernaut miniguns, which suggested the suit would soon be added to Warzone.
Infinity Ward has also mentioned the addition of “200 player” modes back in March. Studio Head Patrick Kelly told USA Today in March 2020 that the game’s development team had already optimized Warzone to support 200-player lobbies. They were just waiting for the right moment to launch the update.
“For one thing, we are initially going to roll out with 150 players, when you are typically seeing 60 to 100,” he said. “Actually, I can tell you we are already playing with 200 players. We are going to release that a little bit later.”
Kelly’s comments came after Warzone was leaked but before it was officially announced. The originally leaked information also mentions that the battle royale would eventually support 200-player sessions. So this recently teased update has clearly been part of Infinity Ward’s finalized vision of Warzone since the game's inception. You almost can't even call it a leak when it's more a question of "When?" rather than "If?"
The Inverse Analysis — Adding its own twists to the battle royale formula is exactly what Infinity Ward needs to do consistently to keep gamers interested in Warzone, especially when they have fierce competition from Fortnite and Apex Legends.
There’s no official confirmation as to when 200-player lobbies could be added to Warzone, but since Season 4 has just launched, Infinity Ward might be saving it for next season. The Season 4 roadmap does tease "and more!" for Warzone this season, so that could mean 200-player lobbies might come sooner rather than later. Previously, Season 3 lasted for two months, so expect Season 5 to launch around August. If 200-player lobbies aren't added this summer, expect them in early fall at the latest.