If you’re a Battle Royale fan but the thought of giving Activision your hard-earned money has your wallet shriveling up like a prune then help is hand - Call of Duty: Black Ops 4’s Blackout battle royale mode is free to play from now all the way through until January 24th.

Players will have nearly a full week with the 100-player Blackout mode in COD: Black Ops 4. It includes all the usual battle royale fare like a shrinking circle, diving onto a massive map, looting, shooting, and creeping tension. The free trial will include solo, duos, and quads modes, as well as a new limited-time ‘Down But Not Out’ mode for quads which allows eliminated players to fly back in with each new circle collapse except for the final showdown. It sounds bad on paper but it should make for good target practice.

“The community response to Blackout has been incredible, and we love watching how players have really made the mode their own, evolving gameplay to a new level,” said Dan Bunting, co-studio head at Treyarch. “We can’t wait to welcome new players to experience the unique Black Ops style of battle royale in Blackout.”

My instincts tell me this is more than a mere advertising drive as well. Activision will be farming the data on the number of players who participate in the Blackout free trial, and how this converts into full game sales, and will surely be using this to decide whether it’s worth making Blackout a free, standalone multiplayer game. I could be totally wrong but this sort of thing has to be going through Activision’s mind,  particularly when its player count surely can’t be competing anywhere close to Fortnite at this stage.

If that were the case, the best tactic to actually make this happen would be for as many people to COD: BLOPS 4 Blackout this weekend and then, er, nobody actually buys the game once the week is up. Activision probably wouldn’t be too pleased but that’s how you get freebies.

Those who want to give it a shot can find the Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 free trial through Battle.net on PC, or through the usual Xbox and PlayStation stores on consoles.