Where next for the FPS megabrand? You could be for­given for tak­ing Black Ops IIII as a state­ment of Activision’s in­tent to ape the mul­ti­player flavour of the month with each sub­se­quent re­lease, but in truth Sledge­ham­mer and In­fin­ity Ward may very well be hard at work on more tra­di­tional of­fer­ings. Tre­yarch told me­dia in 2018 that it had “no idea” of its sta­ble­mates’ cre­ative di­rec­tion for fu­ture games, and that Black­out mode is “quintessen­tially Black Ops” and thus couldn’t have found a home in any other of COD’s prog­eny. The game’s com­mer­cial per­for­mance will be the big­gest clue as to what next year’s COD com­prises, as will the pop­u­lar­ity of bat­tle royales as a whole.

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