'Call of Duty: Mobile' Sets Launch; 'Fortnite' Hosts a Party; Apple Arcade Arrives

Call of Duty Mobile - Publicity - H 2019
Courtesy Activision

Elsewhere, Giant Squid and Annapurna Interactive's 'The Pathless' is pushed to 2020 and the popular puzzler 'Merge Dragons' gets a follow-up.

Mobile Games Hotspot is a curated weekly roundup of the top stories in gaming on-the-go.

Call of Duty is bringing its multiplayer modes to mobile platforms on Oct. 1. Call of Duty: Mobile, a collaboration between Tencent and Activision, aims to transition the standard multiplayer experience of the first-person shooter to handheld where it will include classic and fan favorite modes, maps and characters.

Pulling from installments in the Call of Duty franchise like Black Ops and Modern Warfare, the new mobile version is set to retain the same first-person gameplay and center primarily on online play, something previous Call of Duty mobile games did not focus on. Limited-time events, along with the addition of new playlists and maps, are planned as post-launch content. A free-to-play model will be used when it launches next month on iOS and Android.

Within multiplayer, playlists and game modes returning from previous CoD titles include Team Deathmatch, Search and Destroy and Free-For-All. Iconic maps like Nuketown and Hijacked from Black Ops, along with Crash and Crossfire from Modern Warfare, are all confirmed to appear, but more are expected to be revealed at later dates. Familiar characters such as John MacTavish and Alex Mason are set to make appearances as well.

A battle royale mode will also launch on day one. Unlike Blackout, last year's Call of Duty take on the extremely popular game genre, 100 players will participate to be the last one standing on a map designed specifically for the new mobile game. Locations from throughout the Call of Duty series will make an appearance while vehicles like ATVs, helicopters and tactical rafts can be used to travel from place to place. Players can pick between solo, duo or four-person teams.

Here's what else is happening in the world of mobile games:

Fortnite Gets a Mobile Party System

Fortnite dropped a new feature exclusive to mobile platforms on Wednesday that allows players to easily join parties and group chats, even if they're playing on another system. In the new Party Hub, first-time users can create an avatar using any of their purchased skins before they see who is online in their friends list. Players can join parties and friends who are currently in-game, including joining up through voice chat. Text messages are not supported but will be in a future update. Party Hub is available currently and can be accessed through the main menu after an update. 

The Pathless Pushed to 2020

Apple Arcade is promising an impressive lineup which includes the recently delayed The Pathless from Giant Squid and Annapurna Interactive. The story follows a hunter and her eagle partner as they try to rid darkness from the earth in a beautifully stylized world. Giant Squid's ABZU in 2016 followed a similar approach in a simple yet gorgeous art style. The delay pushes The Pathless into early 2020. Other big games headed to Apple Arcade include ChuChu Rocket, Lego Arthouse, Mosaic, Pac-Man Party Royale and Sonic Racing.

Apple Arcade Launches

The tech giant's subscription-based mobile games service is finally here, and although Apple Arcade will eventually include over 100 games, the service currently includes just over half that.

Merge Dragons Gets a Follow-Up

The popular puzzle game Merge Dragons is getting a sequel in the form of Merge Magic, a cutesy puzzler where combining objects and animals together and fighting off an evil fog in your garden is the name of the game. Upcoming events where players can earn advanced beings are also planned. There are over 80 challenges to complete in and the game can be downloaded on iOS and Android starting Thursday.