The Call of Duty: Warzone season 5 patch caused a colossal data spike for one UK ISP on Wednesday. Virgin Media witnessed a traffic spike of 60% over the previous Wednesday, and the company attributes a sizeable chunk of that to CoD's latest update, which was nearly 48GB on PC.
According to Virgin Media's record, at peak, the data being downloaded on Wednesday was the equivalent of 52 PS4-sized (33.9GB) Warzone patches every second. All told that's an additional 22 petabytes of data for the Monday to Friday period—for a single ISP alone.
The last time a surge of any comparable size occurred was the Call of Duty: Warzone mid-season 4 update on June 30. Yep, Call of Duty at it again.
Call of Duty now comes with a file size of over 200GB on PC. The updates you download along the way are often much larger—the latest PC update was 47.4GB—however, these are squished down once fully downloaded so your overall file size isn't too large (read: still incredibly large). That's great for you, the player, not so great for your ISP—but that's what you pay them for anyways, right?
To attribute this feat to CoD alone wouldn't be right, however. A little game called Fortnite also dropped a 2GB update that same day, which could have contributed some to the whole affair.
Picture a world where game devs have to stagger their updates to a schedule to avoid pile-ups… it's not often you're forced to think of worldwide internet as a finite commodity.
In this case, however, there was reportedly no concern of any bottlenecks as a result of the CoD patch. Phew. That's only one ISP, however, and a UK one at that. I shudder to think of the total bytes transferred in the hours after Activision's patch drop.