If you‘re wondering "how much longer is Vanguard free to play?", you‘re in luck. Based on Activision‘s recent pattern of free access events, players can likely expect at least 1-2 more free-to-play weeks in 2022. These events usually coincide with new seasons, so be on the lookout around the September-October timeframe.
During the free periods, you‘ll have full access to all of Vanguard‘s multiplayer maps and modes, weapon progression, and seasonal updates. This offers a great opportunity to sample the latest Call of Duty without paying upfront!
Now let‘s dive deeper into the stats behind Vanguard‘s performance and what‘s driving these free play periods.
Vanguard By The Numbers
Call of Duty: Vanguard launched on November 5, 2021 as the newest entry in Activision‘s blockbuster franchise. Here are some key statistics on how it has performed commercially:
- Sold an estimated 7.1 million units in its first month
- Generated over $1 billion in revenue within 10 days
However, these figures still marked noticeable declines over 2020‘s Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War:
- Vanguard‘s physical sales dropped over 40% compared to Cold War in the UK
- Total play time was down nearly 25% year-over-year in November 2021
|Game||First Month Sales|
|Cold War||13.43 million|
"Vanguard is certainly performing below expectations," said Piers Harding-Rolls, analyst at Ampere Analysis.
What could be causing Vanguard‘s decline despite being part of gaming‘s biggest franchise?
Analysis: Factors Impacting Vanguard‘s Performance
Releasing a new Call of Duty every year presents a risk of consumer burnout. "There is clear evidence of franchise fatigue," said Harding-Rolls. Players don‘t have as much time to build anticipation for each new entry.
34% of gamers in one survey said they passed on Vanguard because they felt they needed a break from Call of Duty.
Looming Warzone Integration
With Warzone 1 set to be replaced by a new Warzone 2 experience later in 2022, some players are waiting to fully commit until they see how Vanguard integrates.
"Users are waiting for Warzone integration to see what happens. That‘s where a lot of the enthusiasm is focused," explained David Cole of DFC Intelligence.
World War II Setting Fatigue
24% of gamers said their disinterest in returning to a WWII setting after 2017‘s Call of Duty: WWII deterred them from buying Vanguard.
"It seems players aren‘t so keen on returning to the Second World War right now," said Harding-Rolls.
Vanguard faced stiff competition from other major 2021 releases like Battlefield 2042 and Halo Infinite. Some players are splitting time between franchises or waiting for deals.
The Purpose of Free Access Events
With Vanguard struggling to match its predecessors‘ sales records, free-to-play periods are an opportunity for Activision to boost engagement.
Driving Interest in New Content
Free events build hype for major seasonal updates. Players who may be on the fence are enticed to check out additions like new maps, modes, and limited-time experiences.
Onboarding Warzone Players
Handing Warzone fans a free sample of Vanguard‘s core multiplayer could convert them into buyers ahead of the new Warzone 2 launch.
Winning Back Lapses Players
These events target gamers who felt underwhelmed at launch. Limited-time demos let them experience how updates and added content have improved Vanguard since release.
Acquiring New Players
Free access periods lower the barrier of entry for newcomers to try Call of Duty multiplayer. Activision hopes some will become invested enough to buy the full game.
While Vanguard may not achieve the record-breaking sales of its predecessors, Call of Duty remains a juggernaut franchise.
Analysts predict that Warzone 2 in late 2022 and the next premium release (likely Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II) in 2023 will reinvigorate the fanbase.
In the meantime, players eagerly await details on the next Vanguard free play event. Given Activision‘s pattern, expect week-long demos to bookend the new seasons this fall.
These free access periods let you experience Vanguard‘s ever-evolving multiplayer at zero cost. And they provide invaluable consumer feedback for Activision to keep refining the CoD formula for the future.
So jump in during the next free event, and see firsthand how Vanguard plays today! The full-scale combat of Call of Duty is always best enjoyed hands-on.