Call of Duty is a franchise that keeps breaking records, and not just for Activision, who recently recorded the most successful year the franchise has ever had. Each new game release and seasonal update tends to drive a lot of internet traffic too, and Virgin Media reported their “busiest day on record” with the launch of Black Ops Cold War and Warzone Season Two on February 25th.
Virgin reported that average data downloaded for that 24-hour period jumped to 20.77 GB of data per user, which is over 3 GB more than the 2020 daily-average record. To clarify, this measurement includes all Virgin Media customers, so the launch of Season Two drove an immense per user average increase across the whole network.
Of course, the downloads for Season Two weren’t exactly small. Both Black Ops Cold War and Warzone had nearly 20 GB installs each, and the file sizes for each game have grown so much that they’ll no longer fit on a 500 GB PS4. The ISP records being broken are a testament to both the popularity of Call of Duty right now and the enormous sizes of each update.
It’s a notable record to break considering the general increase in internet traffic that ISPs have seen since the start of the pandemic in early 2020. At the time, Sony even throttled download speeds on the PlayStation 4 in order to help conserve network bandwidth as people moved to more online-centric activities and working from home. ISPs also saw usage records getting broken back when the PS5 and Xbox Series X launched, and some of that was owing to Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War’s launch at the time. The Season One update in December similarly saw an enormous surge in internet traffic.
With rumors that Verdansk may be getting blown up in favor of a new map soon (within the next month or two), ISPs could potentially see more spikes as players rush to download the new map update, which will likely be a large download. It seems that Call of Duty is a behemoth that just keeps getting bigger. Season One’s Battle Pass was the most consumed ever, and demand for the game continues to grow.
Other ISPs so far haven’t commented on traffic relating to Black Ops Cold War and Warzone’s Season Two launch on February 25th, but it wouldn’t be surprising if they all experienced surges as well.
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