The latest version of Call of Duty’s hugely popular Battle Royale mode was made available for preload from Monday 14 November, but it was in the early hours of Wednesday 16 November that saw gamers get ready for the big launch.
Whilst most of the country were asleep, usage of Virgin Media O2’s broadband network continued to spike, with traffic up 103% between 3am and 8am compared to the average Wednesday.
Wednesday 16 November was also the heaviest gaming day on record with downstream traffic peaking at 21Tbps and a massive 138 petabytes (PB) of data downloaded overall – the equivalent of streaming 41.5 billion songs or downloading 2.7 million AAA games.
Comparing Warzone 2.0 to recent Call of Duty releases and updates, network traffic peak seen on Wednesday morning was 33% higher than the most recent Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II update on Friday 4 November.
Warzone 2.0 has also outperformed the original Warzone, which launched on 10 March 2020, with downstream volume (the amount of data downloaded or consumed) increasing by 76%, showing the continued popularity of Call of Duty and sustained growth in gaming traffic following the pandemic.
As well as holding the gaming record, Wednesday’s appetite to download Warzone 2.0 made it the second busiest day in the history of Virgin Media O2’s broadband network, falling just shy of October 19 when Amazon Prime Video simultaneously streamed five live Premier League games.
Says Jeanie York, CTO at Virgin Media O2:
“Gaming is continuing to drive record network spikes on our network, proving just how popular online gaming is with our customers. Our gigabit network, backed up by our market leading Wi-Fi guarantee, is the perfect ally to keep gamers ahead of the game.”
With large file sizes and a huge fan base, Call of Duty has regularly caused significant spikes on Virgin Media O2’s broadband network. In April, Call of Duty: Warzone Season 3 and Modern Warfare updates set Virgin Media O2’s previous biggest gaming traffic spike on record and in 2021 Call of Duty: Warzone helped drive Virgin Media’s previous biggest download day on record, when the average user downloaded more than 20GB of data in a single day.