When Activision launched Call of Duty: Warzone 2 (opens in a new tab) a few weeks back, Warzone 1.0 went temporarily offline while developer Raven Software focused on support for the new game. Raven has her hands full with flying boats, endless money mistakes and frequent crashes (opens in a new tab) plagues Warzone 2, but it has kept its promise: starting today, Warzone 1.0 is back online, but with a new name.
Warzone 1 is now called Call of Duty: Warzone Caldera (opens in a new tab). It’s pretty much the same Warzone as it was a few weeks ago, but with major features missing. There is only one map now (Caldera) and two playlist options, Battle Royale Quads and Solos. All of Warzone’s existing weapons, custom classes, and unlocks remain intact, but there are no new Battle Passes or any way to unlock old Battle Pass content. Warzone Caldera is now essentially a Call of Duty game from before the service game era – an island of content with no roadmap or major updates in the works. A Battle Royale locked in time.
In particular, today’s relaunch has (at least for now) killed the small map category for both Warzone 1 and its sequel. Fortune’s Keep (opens in a new tab)a well-liked little map that replaced Rebirth Island earlier this year is gone, and Activision doesn’t plan to put it, Rebirth, or Warzone’s first map Verdansk back anytime soon.
This is sad news for the significant portion of the Warzone community for whom the smaller, fast-paced Fortune’s Keep/Rebirth Island format had become their preferred way of playing. The popularity of small maps and the Resurgence ruleset (a battle royale variant that automatically revives teammates if at least one player is alive) has proven popular enough to stay in Warzone’s playlist rotation for the past two years, so it’s strange to leave it now. Warzone 2 also doesn’t have a small map option, but Activision has teased “exciting developments” for fans of small maps in Warzone 2’s future seasons.
The relaunch of Warzone Caldera seems to have come and gone without much fanfare. On PC, there is little to suggest that the old game still exists. My Battle.net app has reset Warzone 1’s old library track to only show Modern Warfare 2019 (a funny reversal of Warzone “eating” MW (opens in a new tab) almost two years ago). Warzone Caldera is now installed as a content pack for Modern Warfare requiring a total of 89 GB.
I respect my SSD too much to have two giant versions of Warzone installed on my PC, but the few streamers I’ve found playing Warzone Caldera have managed to find full lobbies, so there’s definitely a community out there that prefer the old ways. It’s a shame that Warzone 1 loyalists now have to deal with this crappy lobby screen that shows two ads for newer Call of Duty games before modes for the game you’re currently playing.
Still, this reduced-fat Warzone is a better fate than the service game that the original Overwatch suffered when its sequel launched, so perhaps Activision deserves credit for preserving some of the game.