After a long period of speculation, Call of Duty Black Ops 4 has been announced by Activision. The game is set for release later this year, and rumours suggest it won't be like any other Call of Duty title we've seen. In fact, it may even include a Battle Royale mode, cashing in on the current interest in the genre.

Here's everything we know about Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, from the reveal and release date to the latest gameplay rumours. 

When is the Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 release date?

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 will be revealed on 17 May 2018 at an event, and then will see a release on 12 October 2018 on the PC, PS4 and Xbox One.

Sadly, we haven’t had an update about the teased version for the Switch as of yet, but there's plenty of great Nintendo Switch games to play in the meantime.

Who is making Call of Duty: Black Ops 4?

This year’s Call of Duty title will be developed by Treyarch, one of the three studios that share responsibility for the production of the series.

Treyarch’s pedigree for Call of Duty games has been well tested, starting out with Call of Duty 2: Big Red One to Call of Duty 3, and the wildly popular Call of Duty: World at War. Since then, they’ve taken the helm of the Black Ops series which has helped push the brand to new heights.

While we haven’t learned much about Black Ops 4, Treyarch are notorious for leaving some hidden clues behind in their previous titles – and with a large update to Black Ops 3 released recently, there are almost certainly some secrets to uncover.

This could be anything from secret areas or dialogue, all the way down to QR codes in the game that kickstart a marketing campaign, as with Black Ops 2.

What platforms will Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 be available on?

While nothing is official yet, it would be fair to assume that Black Ops 4 will be arriving on Xbox One, PS4 and PC. Sadly, there has been no report of a Nintendo Switch release, which is a real shame.

While we’re excited for the new CoD, we’d probably suggest avoiding it on PC – as the performance for the last few games on the platform has been less than impressive.

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 gameplay rumours

The gameplay in the next Call of Duty game probably won’t come as much of a shock. While there have been attempts at innovation over the years with wall running and jetpacks to help spice up the action, it’s almost certainly still going to centre around the good old run and gun FPS gameplay that CoD is known for.

Black Ops has always been a little more story intensive than the regular COD games, focusing more on the events and developments of characters themselves, rather than their place in a much wider conflict., though that may not be the case this year. 

No single-player campaign

Though the majority of CoD players focus on the multiplayer aspect of the games, the franchise has provided some pretty epic single-player campaigns over the years. Despite this, Polygon reports that Black Ops 4 will be the first Call of Duty title to ditch the campaign to focus on multiplayer and zombies. 

According to Polygon's sources, the single-player campaign was no-where near completion despite being months away from release, so Treyarch decided to put more emphasis on multiplayer and the co-op experience. 

It's worth noting that sources dispute this claim, but with a huge emphasis on "forget what you know" during the game's announcement, it looks like Polygon could be on to something. 

And that something might be an entirely new game mode...

Battle Royale Mode

With the runaway success of Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG), which was taken and refined upon by Epic Games with their Fortnite Battle Royale, it’s not a stretch to notice that the rest of the industry is catching on.

Sarah Needleman, Technology Reporter for the WSJ, tweeted in March 2018 that Activision Management reminded investors that it was “keenly aware of how other game publishers have recently benefited from releasing titles in the popular “battle royale” genre.”

Battle Royale Activision

While this fueled speculation that a Battle Royale mode could make its way to a Call of Duty title (after all, Activision did add it to Call of Duty Online in China for testing purposes), a report from Charlie Intel seems to confirm it.

The report suggests that Raven Software is working on a Battle Royale mode for the upcoming Call of Duty title. The developers have previously worked on Call of Duty's multiplayer modes, and were allegedly called in to fill in for the missing single-player campaign.

This is backed up by Kotaku, which claims to have spoken to sources that confirm the lack of a campaign and the inclusion of a Battle Royale mode.  

Black Ops 4 merchandise

In a week where references to Black Ops 4-themed apparel were spotted in GameStop’s database, this was some of the first confirmation of the new title coming in.

Curiously enough, NBA star James Harden was seen sporting a cap with what looks very much like the Black Ops 4 logo.