'Call of Duty: Warzone' Hits 50 Million Downloads in Just One Month

"Saturday Night Live" is taking heat for showing "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare" footage in a skit about the hugely popular video game.
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Call of Duty Warzone Final

Just one month after Call of Duty: Warzone servers went live on March 10, the free-to-play, battle royale first-person-shooter has hit a whopping 50 million downloads. 

Activison, the video game's publisher, made the announcement in tandem with the official Call of Duty account on Twitter, thanking users for "dropping in" to the vast virtual battleground. 

VentureBeat reports that Warzone was an instant hit. Six million people played in the first 24 hours it was available, and that number more than doubled to 15 million in the first four days. 

It stands to reason that the success of Call of Duty: Warzone is linked to the fact that people worldwide are being advised to stay inside and practice "social distancing" to mitigate the spread of coronavirus. Video games offer a way for people to interact and compete safely during the pandemic. 

The latest CoD release is so popular, it was even featured on Saturday Night Live...sort of. In a historic, all-digital episode of the long-running sketch comedy show, actor Mikey Day plays a Twitch streamer who gets decimated during what he erroneously refers to as a Warzone match. 

But Day is clearly playing 2019's Call of Duty: Modern Warfare—the full game on which Warzone is based—in an online multiplayer free-for-all, which allows for an infinite number of respawns after dying until a score or time limit is reached. 

However, when a player dies in Warzone, they sent to a one-on-one death match in a sealed Gulag prison. If victorious, the player gets to parachute into the open Warzone world one last time...no second chances. 

"Kind of insulting to gamers," one of many critical YouTube commenters noted. "I mean I haven’t played CoD since the original MW and I knew that wasn’t war zone."

As long as people are in quarantine, there'll be no shortage of Warzone lobbies to enjoy.