When Treyarch announced Call of Duty: Black Ops 4's upcoming battle royale mode, it refused to say exactly how big the map would be, nor how many players would take part in a match.
What Treyarch did say, however, is the map is 1500 times the size of Nuketown, one of Call of Duty's most famous and most popular maps.
Ever since the reveal event on Tuesday 17th May, the Call of Duty community has tried to work out exactly what 1500 times the size of Nuketown means - and how that compares to the maps in PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds and Fortnite.
Now, one Call of Duty player has used the power of mathematics to get as accurate an estimate of the Blackout map size as possible - and reckons it comes in at just under the size of Fortnite's map.
Drift0r is a hugely popular Call of Duty YouTuber who normally spends his time analysing weapons from the series. But in a recent video he tried something a little different and analysed Blackout.
Drift0r started by going back to Black Ops 3's Nuketown to establish a reference point, using the weapon ranges in the game to work out a unit of measurement. The Razorback submachine gun, for example, deals 30 damage up to 19 meters. Under 19 meters it deals 29 damage. So, by setting player health to 30, Drift0r could use the Razorback to one-shot-kill at 19 meters. By lining up shots with a friend, Drift0r established 19 meters as a unit of measurement in Nuketown by comparing the position of the two players on the map grid. The next step was to use this measurement to establish the overall size of the map.
Two sizes were established: one using the entire size of the map as it displays on the map grid, the second using the playable area only. Drift0r then went to the effort of printing out the map and marking it up with a ruler, calculating the size of individual chunks of the map (18 in total). Here's the working out:
By doing this, Drift0r came up with a minimum (playspace only) and maximum (entire map) size for Nuketown: 2972 square metres and 4950 square metres respectively. It was a simple case of x1500 for both these figures to get a Blackout minimum size of 4.5km2 and a maximum size of 7.4km2.
For comparison, PUBG's Erengal map is 64km2, and Fortnite's is 5.5km2. Drift0r believes the minimum size for Blackout he has determined is the more accurate figure, which would place Black Ops 4's battle royale map at a square kilometer smaller than Fortnite's.
This seems surprisingly big to me, given the close quarters nature of Call of Duty gameplay. And we're not even sure whether Blackout will hit the 100 player mark, either. All Dan Bunting, co-studio head of Treyarch would tell me in our recent Black Ops 4 interview is the number of players is "multiples higher than the highest we've ever done". That could be close to 100, I suppose.
When you consider Blackout has vehicles such as helicopters for players to jump into, the map needs to be of a certain size to accommodate their movement and speed. As an aside, players have been trying to count the dots on an image of the Blackout map shown during the Black Ops 4 reveal to see how many players it indicates are playing. Whether this is a true indication of what Treyarch is gunning for, we don't know, but when I brought this up with Bunting, he teased: "We love to put our Easter eggs out there."
So there you have it: Blackout, according to the community's best estimate, is a square kilometer smaller than Fortnite's map. Hopefully we won't have long to wait before we'll know whether Drift0r's getting an A for his working out - or an F.
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