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Activision announces ‘Call of Duty’ battle-royale game to compete with ‘Fortnite’

Key Points
  • On Thursday Activision Blizzard said it will include a battle-royale game mode called "Blackout" in "Call of Duty: Black Ops 4."
  • Epic Games introduced a battle-royale mode for "Fortnite" on computers and gaming consoles in September. The game became a popular culture phenomenon. The company revealed in January that the title has been played by more than 45 million people worldwide.
Call of Duty Black Ops 4
Source: Activision

The surging popularity of Epic Games' "Fortnite" is attracting competition from a big game publisher.

On Thursday Activision Blizzard announced it will include a battle-royale game mode called "Blackout" in "Call of Duty: Black Ops 4." The title is slated for release on Oct. 12.

"The Black Ops community means everything to us, so we knew in order to deliver something really special for our fans like Blackout, with the biggest map we've ever created in Call of Duty, we had to push ourselves and our tech to the absolute limits," said Mark Gordon, co-studio head of Activision's Treyarch, in a release.

Epic Games introduced a battle-royale mode for "Fortnite" on computers and gaming consoles in September. This mode allows up to 100 online players to violently battle each other to the death until only one player survives. The company revealed in January that the game has been played by more than 45 million people worldwide. It is also consistently the most streamed game on Twitch.

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One Wall Street analyst is optimistic Activision's inclusion of a battle-royale mode in its "Call of Duty" title will be able to compete effectively with "Fortnite."

"Given the strong recent performance of Battle Royale games including 'Fortnite' and 'PUBG,' Black Ops 4 will feature its own BR mode," Baird analyst Colin Sebastian wrote in a note to clients Thursday. "We believe new additions should drive strong player engagement and monetization trends."

Sebastian reiterated his outperform rating for Activision Blizzard shares and his $80 price target, representing 14 percent upside to Wednesday's close.