David Vonderhaar, Treyarch’s design director and the architect behind the multiplayer for numerous Call of Duty titles, recently look to Twitter to proclaim that the new battle royale game type Blackout is not competitive multiplayer.
In all seriousness, Blackout is not competitive multiplayer. We are going to do things that live somewhere between MP and ZOMBIES. Some will dig it; some will not. It's all good. Character Unlocks are not always skill-based either. Let's have some fun and try some new things.
— Lord Vonderhaar (@DavidVonderhaar) February 1, 2019
As you might imagine, the response to Vonderhaar’s tweet has been less than positive as many gamers look to Blackout as a real alternative to the current multiplayer game types.
In response, popular YouTube streamer PrestigeisKey said, “David, what? The entire time leading up to blackout you stressed in interviews how the game is supposed to challenge you. Wins, top placements, and kills all reside on the ranking system. It challenges you to be better. Make better decisions as a player.”
This news comes after Jay Puryear, director of brand management at Treyarch, and Adam Apicella, VP of league and event operations at Activision Blizzard’s MLG, indicated that Blackout will likely not make its way to esports competition anytime soon.
“We’re assessing as much data as possible. When we take a look at an esports product, we try to let the community tell us what they want. It’s an active conversation, but right now we just love that people are streaming and playing it. We’re trying to collect as much data as possible around potentially, if we ever did something with it, how we’d present it and produce it,” Apicella said in a previous interview.
In contrast, leading battle royale title Fortnite has announced numerous competitive tournaments with prizes per tournament north of half a million dollars. Whether this continued growth will push Treyarch and Activision into making Blackout more competitive is something to keep an eye on in 2019.