Call of Duty: Warzone Requires Xbox Live Gold, but Doesn’t Need PlayStation Plus

Call of Duty: Warzone Requires Xbox Live Gold, but Doesn’t Need PlayStation Plus

Activision confirms that its new battle royale is just a bit more free-to-play on PS4 and PC.

Owners of 2019's Call of Duty: Modern Warfare can get their hands on the brand new Warzone battle royale mode now, with the standalone free-to-play launch of the game coming a little later. If you're on PS4 or PC, you won't need to make any additional purchases to play, but if you're playing on Xbox One, you will need an active Xbox Live Gold subscription.

Activision confirmed the disparity between consoles to IGN. Players on PS4 who do have an active PlayStation Plus subscription will receive the option of downloading an exclusive "Warzone Combat Pack" from the PlayStation Store, the contents of which are unknown. The pack is likely similar to the free cosmetic packs regularly released for Plus subscribers in Fortnite and Apex Legends.

This divide is reflective of how multiplayer free-to-play access works on Xbox One and PS4 generally. Apex and Fortnite are also examples of games that don't require PlayStation Plus subscriptions on PS4, but do require Xbox Live Gold on the Xbox One. Destiny 2 is one notable exception to this trend: when it went free-to-play last year, it kept a PlayStation Plus requirement in place.

While Modern Warfare owners do get to try Warzone a bit earlier than the rest, Activision promises that there will be no differences between the free-to-play standalone version and the version Modern Warfare players access. Progress is unified across modes, and if a Warzone player later buys Modern Warfare, their progress will carry over. Warzone is also supporting the same PC, Xbox One, and PS4 crossplay functionality as Modern Warfare's multiplayer modes.

We'll have more on Warzone once we've had a chance to take it for a spin along with the rest of the world. It's looking like it'll be a significant departure in battle royale gameplay from both Call of Duty's Blackout mode and other pillars of the genre. Warzone is launching with two main modes, supports up to 150 players, and includes a novel new "Gulag" system for respawning downed players. The first wave of players are downloading the game now—we'll see you out there in Verdansk later today.

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Mathew Olson


Mathew Olson is a writer formerly of Digg, where he blogged and reported about all things under the umbrella of internet culture (including games, of course). He lives in New York, grew up under rain clouds and the influence of numerous games studios in the Pacific Northwest, and will talk your ear off about Half-Life mods, Talking Heads or Twin Peaks if you let him.

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