The buildup to the upcoming release of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare had been nothing but positive, but a little peek into the loot box system during Modern Warfare’s beta stirred some understandable uproar among the CoD fan base, as it has been revealed that Modern Warfare will feature a loot box system. But what could we expect, when Activision Blizzard’s ‘Supply Drops’ gross billions every year?
There had been rumors suggesting that Black Ops 4’s Supply Drops would be making a return to the Modern Warfare soft reboot, but it wasn’t until the first beta wave launched on the 12th of September that fans realized that the rumors were indeed true.
YouTuber LegacyKillaHD noticed a new type of ‘reward’ when he hit level 6 while playing the Modern Warfare beta. He was rewarded a Common Supply Drop for his progress, reaffirming that the microtransaction system would return to the upcoming entry in the beloved franchise. When he posted his discovery on Twitter, his community was not amused (to put it mildly).
Some of the Twitter-users stated that they cancelled their pre-order because of the news, while others were a bit less surprised. And in a way it shouldn’t have been a big surprise, looking at the situation from an economical standpoint. In 2016 Activision Blizzard made a whopping $3.6 billion with microstransactions and in-game content (with franchises like CoD, Overwatch and Destiny) and in 2017 the publisher earned $4 billion through microtransactions alone (almost 60% of it’s annual income). It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the company would continue to implement the controversial systems for profit.
But it’s also not that strange that fans suspected a different approach this time around. More than half a year after the release of Black Ops 4 (and with the inclusion of the Blackout battle royale mode) developer Treyarch gradually implemented a loot box system in the game, to the dismay of many fans that called the mechanic pay-to-win. Fans were initially furious at Treyarch, but a revealing article by Kotaku shifted the crosshairs to the parent company, Activision Blizzard, with some developers expressing their frustration “with publisher Activision’s never-ending quest for increased revenue”. It turned out that the developer had no influence over the intrusive nature of the monetization system.
That outcry could very well have been a wake-up call for the publisher, as the community expressed concerns over a pay-to-win system in Modern Warfare. It is currently unclear whether the loot boxes will contain stuff like attachments, weapon skins and perks, or just cosmetics. Cynical gamers have however expressed concerns regarding the implementation of in-game items long after the release of the game (and with all reviews and critiques set in stone).
All we can do is wait and see if Activision uses their microtransaction system a bit more ethically or if they are going full pay-to-win again. What do you think of the inclusion of loot boxes in Modern Warfare? Let us know in the comments of our Facebook page.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare is scheduled to be released on October 25th, 2019 for Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC.