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A limited portion of the game’s multiplayer component will be freely accessible from Thursday, December 17 at 10am PT/1pm ET/6pm UK until the same time on December 24.
Activision’s blog post announcing the free multiplayer promotion doesn’t specify how players can access it, but we’re checking with the publisher.
Free multiplayer trials for the game’s predecessor, 2019’s Modern Warfare, were accessible through free-to-play Call of Duty: Warzone, the battle royale title which Activision says has attracted over 85 million players since its release in March.
UPDATE: Players can access the free trial by searching for Black Ops Cold War on console marketplaces and it will show up as its own edition of the game.
ORIGINAL STORY CONTINUES: Offering access to 18 multiplayer maps, the free access week will be split into two stages. The first, from December 17-21, includes three modes (2v2 Gunfight, Team Deathmatch and Domination) and two featured playlists (Nuketown Holiday 24/7 and Raid the Mall).
The second stage, from December 21-24, will include all of the content from the first stage plus three additional modes: Prop Hunt, Combined Arms: Hardpoint and Fireteam: Dirty Bomb.
Activision is also offering double XP during the free-to-play promotion. Between 10am PT on December 18 (or 24 hours earlier for PlayStation players) until 10am PT on December 21, all players will earn double XP and double weapons bonuses across the available multiplayer modes.
And from 10am PT on December 22 until 10am PT on December 28, Black Ops Cold War and Warzone players will receive double Battle Pass XP.
It’s billed as “the largest free content drop in Black Ops history”, including three Operators, five weapons, eight multiplayer maps and a new Warzone map called Rebirth Island, among other features (see the full patch notes).