Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 arrives this October, and one of its most anticipated features is a new battle royale-inspired mode called Blackout. When Treyarch first announced the mode at E3 this past June, the studio said it hadn’t yet settled on how many players it would support, but it seems the developer has now decided on a player count–at least, for the mode’s beta test.
Game Informer recently spoke with Treyarch about Blackout, and the developer revealed that the mode will support 80 players during the upcoming private beta, which is scheduled to kick off next week. That’s fewer players than both PUBG and Fortnite–the two games that helped popularize the battle royale genre–support, but Treyarch says it is more focused on the quality of the experience than the quantity of players it features.
“What’s really more important to us than a number is that the gameplay experience is as refined as it can be, that it’s the ideal perfect format for what players are going to play,” Treyarch co-head Dan Bunting told Game Informer. However, he notes that Blackout’s final player count is still subject to change; Treyarch may tweak the number before the game’s release based on player feedback.
“Whenever we launch a game as a beta or whatever, that’s the beginning of something,” Bunting said. “We’re going to actively be participating in the community and taking feedback, making changes and adapting, evolving the game as feedback rolls in. So there’s a lot that can go on that can happen beyond that first impact of the game going out there.”
The first Blackout beta session kicks off exclusively for PS4 on September 10; Xbox One players, meanwhile, will be able to jump in a few days later, beginning September 14. The console Blackout beta will only be open to those who’ve pre-ordered a copy of Black Ops 4. On PC, everyone with a Battle.net account will be able to participate in the beta starting September 15, but players who’ve pre-ordered the title will get access to it 24 hours early.
Treyarch says Blackout features the largest map it has ever created, with areas that draw heavily from previous entries in the Black Ops series. The official Call of Duty Twitter account recently shared an image of the map, giving fans a glimpse at just how large it is before the beta begins. You can take a look at the map below.
Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 launches for PS4, Xbox One, and PC on October 12. In addition to Blackout, the game features a handful of new and returning modes, including an expanded Zombies experience. Activision also recently revealed another new addition to the game called signature weapons–cosmetic variants of guns you’ll be able to unlock by completing challenges.