Call of Duty Warzone battle royale is coming in March with a free to play version, says report

(Image credit: Activision)

Call of Duty Warzone, the often leaked, yet to be revealed battle royale for Call of Duty, is coming in March, according to a new report. In addition to unlocking automatically for owners of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, it will also come as a free to play game to better compete with games like Fortnite and Apex Legends. These details and more come by way of a VGC report.

The outlet spoke with "development sources" who said, barring any unforeseen delays, Warzone should launch in early March, and because Call of Duty updates typically drop on Tuesdays, they believe March 10 will be the release date. These sources said marketing will begin this week, with Activision inviting select content creators to attend a preview of the game and record footage. It's the same kind of rollout we see a lot these days, including for Apex Legends just last year, only Apex was leaked the weekend before it launched. Warzone, meanwhile, has averaged nearly a leak per day since season 2 of Modern Warfare launched.

After 2018's Blackout became the debut of the growing genre for Call of Duty, fans wondered whether Activision would make it a standalone game. It appears this second iteration, Warzone, will do just that, and the same sources told VGC that Activision sees the free to play Warzone as one of three pillars going forward for the series, along with Call of Duty Mobile and annual standalone releases, which are still expected to have campaigns, PVP, zombies, and other modes players have come to expect every autumn.

It was all the way back in July, months before the game launched, when we first heard rumors of a free to play battle royale coming to Call of Duty. A few weeks after launch, data miners discovered a ton of alleged details about the mode, which VGC seemed to confirm with its sources. 

That includes the game's currency, Plunder, which can buy upgrades during rounds, the Gulag system, which pits defeated players in 1v1 rounds on small maps where the winner earns re-entry into the main game, and a 200-person lobby for every round. It's also rumored to utilize a ping feature much like that which helped Apex Legends grow so quickly. It may be another week or so before Activision starts talking publicly about Warzone, but that's not to say we won't hear more about it until then.

We weren't kidding that Warzone keeps leaking. Even its map has appeared online

Freelance Journalist

Mark Delaney is a prolific copywriter and journalist. Having contributed to publications like GamesRadar+ and Official Xbox Magazine, writing news, features, reviews, and guides, he has since turned his eye to other adventures in the industry. In 2019, Mark became OpenCritic's first in-house staff writer, and in 2021 he became the guides editor over at GameSpot.