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Shoot people in space this weekend with free ‘Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare’

Activision has announced plans to make a sizeable preview of Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare available to all Xbox One and PlayStation 4 owners this weekend. Between December 15 and December 20, portions of the game’s three primary modes will be offered up for free.

Players will be able to take on two full missions from the game’s campaign, according to a report from Eurogamer. They will also be able to dive into the game’s multiplayer modes until they reach a rank of 15, and try out its zombies mode until they attain rank 3.

The idea is obviously to give players a taste of the game for free, in the hopes that they’ll upgrade to the full version once the trial period comes to a close. All progress made in the free preview will carry over should players choose to make a purchase.

News of this free trial comes in the wake of reports that Infinite Warfare is under-performing in terms of sales. NPD figures for November indicated that the game’s sales were down by almost 50 percent compared to the 2015 release of Black Ops III.

More: Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare review

2016 has been a very competitive year for shooters, with the likes of Overwatch, Rainbow Six: Siege, and Battlefield 1 receiving plenty of praise for their multiplayer, and Titanfall 2 and Doom being highly commended for their single-player. It seems that strong competition, combined with the unpopular decision to push the game’s setting further into the future, has undercut the popularity of the once-dominant franchise.

At this point, a free trial seems like a sensible strategy to encourage more players to try the game for themselves. In previous years, Call of Duty games have had little trouble maintaining an active player base — but sales being down could be reflected in-game by a diminished multiplayer community.

The free preview of Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare gets underway on Thursday, December 15 at 1PM EST. Activision has confirmed that the trial will be available across both Xbox One and PlayStation 4, but there’s currently no word on whether PC players will get to take part.