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Forget that controversial 300GB figure: even senior CoD developers don’t actually know how big Black Ops 6 modes will be

Treyarch wants players to download parts of the game important to them, but can't say how big those parts will be.

Image credit: Treyarch, Raven Software, Activision.

Since the reveal of Call of Duty: Black Ops 6 at Summer Game Fest 2024, many online have been gawking at the roughly 300GB storage requirement listed on the game's store page. However, the truth behind this figure is a bit of a mystery, even to some of the senior developers.

As many familiar with the modern Call of Duty series will tell you, that 300GB figure encompasses more than just the base game. It contains the single player campaign, multiplayer, zombies, Warzone and more. During a roundtable interview I was present at following last week's reveal I asked how large each of the individual major game modes will be, so players only interested in a portion of the package can get an idea of how much space they'll need to set aside. Both associate design director Matt Scronce and senior director of production Yale Miller couldn't actually share a rough figure.

"I don't know exactly what we're going to end up at" states Miller. "We continue to look at it from an optimisation perspective, but we don't actually know where we're going to end up." Another writer present - Brodie Gibbons from Press Start Australia - followed this up by asking if players could disable texture streaming and just download the entirety of the game. To this, both Scronce and Miller responded that they didn't know. Though Miller, following this admission, stated the following,

"I don't actually know. I know we continue to look at all those pieces, and in the current ecosystem you can do high-res texture packs. But I think there will always be some slight CDN (Content Delivery Networks) stuff".

As for why this is a pertinent question, it's this texture streaming that requires Call of Duty: Black Ops 6 to have an always-online requirement. In basic terms, it constantly streams texture files to your game, making it so you don't have to download all the files required for higher resolution (and ultimately higher quality) textures in the game, resulting in lower storage space required to play the game.

Many have seen this, then looked at the 300GB+ storage requirement, and left confuddled. It's worth noting that this lofty figure isn't just for Black Ops 6; it encompasses a larger selection of modes, as explained by Miller during this roundtable. "The listing is actually because we're a shared tile. It's multiple games: Modern Warfare 2, Modern Warfare 3, Warzone. Plus I think it takes into account language packs as well. So the actual size footprint, we're making it so you can customise that footprint by picking and installing the different parts that you want. If you want to play single player, multiplayer, or Zombies you can actually install those things out".

He continues, "We're also looking at Call of Duty HQ (the dedicated launcher), so that will get a big refresh as well, so we're looking at how to reduce the file size. Players want to play the best-looking game they possibly can - that sounds awesome - so we're looking at how to make it so you're only downloading the parts that matter to you."

Hold on to that drive space! | Image credit: Treyarch, Raven Software, Activision.

Speaking of downloading bits of the game that are important to players, I asked whether you could disable texture streaming so that people who don't want to play with an online connection have the choice to do so. To this, Miller responded "I don't actually know at this time".

So, texture streaming apparently allows players to experience the game at its best, and the team wants to make sure you're only downloading the parts of the game that are important to you, but no one can say whether those who wish to download all those textures and run the game offline will be able to do so.

That 300GB+ total file size, of course, doesn't necessarily represent the actual storage space needed to experience the bits of Black Ops 6 you want, but no one can say - even roughly - how big each of the separate parts will be. A very mysterious aura surrounding a game launching in around four months...

We'll probably have to find out together, when Call of Duty: Black Ops 6 launches worldwide on October 25 on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and PC.

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