If you want any Cod Blops 4 DLC maps, you’ll need to buy the whole season pass

While many big multiplayer games are stepping away from paid DLC in favour of other ways to fund new content updates, Activision are doubling down on playerbase-splitting map packs. The publishers have revealed that Call Of Duty: Black Ops 4‘s dozen post-launch maps will only be sold in the £30 season pass, not sold in separate packs too as in previous years (and certainly not free). It’s an all-or-nothing commitment. Which sucks. Given that this year’s game is more multiplayer-focused than ever, with no typical singleplayer campaign, that doublesucks.

The ‘Black Ops Pass’ will offer access to, as they’re released, 12 multiplayer maps, 4 “exclusive” characters for the battle royale mode Blackout, and five extra Zombies “experiences”. If you want any of that, you’ll need the whole pass. It’s included with Cod Blops 4’s ‘Digital Deluxe Edition’, which costs £30/$40 more than the standard. Activision will sell upgrades from the base edition to the Digital Deluxe, but not sell any of the content separately.

Committing to a full pass in advance is an iffy proposition. What if the DLC turns out to not be great? What if you’re only interested in some parts? What if you stop playing Cod Blops 4? And what if other people stop playing? Activision have previously also sold Call Of Duty DLC in four packs across the year, which has been more expensive than buying the whole pass but is less of commitment. Now they’re removing that choice.

Activision say they plan to “[deliver] content with more frequency”, so it could be less clear-cut than the traditional ‘three maps in one lump’. Still, it might work out about the same if they sold access to e.g. three months’ new stuff. Or if they made new maps free and found other ways to monetise the game.

It sucks for maps to split playerbases and leave players feeling rinsed. Other big publishers are finally turning away from paid DLC map packs, with multiplayer games from Rainbow Six Siege to Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds adding new maps and such in free content updates. Some monetise them with microtransactions to skip certain unlocks, or with cosmetic items (sadly, often in horrible loot boxes), or other methods which irk me less than facing a choice between buying DLC or getting cut out. Maybe next year, eh Activision?

Developers Treyarch have responded on Reddit to the ensuing upset, saying “I want to make it clear that we are very much listening to your thoughts, comments, and ideas.”

They added, “We are absolutely committed to supporting the entire community with a slew of free, post-release content that will extend the Black Ops 4 experience with more new ways to play than we’ve ever done before.”

Cod Blops 4 is due to launch on October 12th. It’ll cost £50 (or £80 if you want that DLC…), and is only sold on Battle.net – no Steam release.


  1. thomas16632 says:

    Since “i have been had” since black ops 3 and the introduction of loot boxes, ultra rare special weapons behind loot boxes, in additions to the recurrent “map pack” 15€ for 4 maps, at least one if not 2 of these maps being “remastered” (ie repainted…).

    What to say :) IW got worse, WII is bad, loot boxes and co.
    So, noway anymore for me. Unless by miracle they propose an honest product with honest prices (i’m ok with 90, but at this price, i want all without micro transaction neither infinite farming)

    • Hoot says:

      $90 for a game? You are dreaming, mate. £70 for a online only game that you’ve already bought (I mean, CoD is just the same game every year, man. No point dressing it up as anything else.)? Fuck that.

      If a game doesn’t release on PC for the reasonable price it pretty much has always been (£30-40) then will I bollocks be buying it immediately. Not when my Steam backlog has more hours of entertainment in it than I could finish in 2 years but I know that 6 months down the line I’ll be able to pick up any title for anywhere between -25% and -50% off.

      • thomas16632 says:

        agreed, 90 is for a real new complete game, not just the same simple online game with identical gameplay. Without single player (well, there was, but i was never able to play it, so boring it is. So we can safely say, there is no single played in all cods & bo lol)

  2. gabrielonuris says:

    Reading about Activision nowadays is like reading about my country’s politics.

    Now, who wanna play “guess the country”?

  3. Hoot says:

    And yet, people will still throw money at it and thus this diabolical practice will continue. At least it was announced that the new Battlefield game will not be a microtranaction/DLC ripoff fest, with all post release content being free.

    Haven’t played a BF game since Bad Company 2 but this might convince me to give the new one a go.

    Also, I haven’t bought a CoD game since the original Modern Warfare. That’s not gonna change.

    • Bull0 says:

      Er, Battlefield V will absolutely have microtransactions (but they’re claiming they’ll be “just cosmetic”)

      • Hoot says:

        Which is the same as not having micro-transactions to me because I don’t really give a shit about cosmetics.

        I was more referring to micro-transactions that actually affect gameplay.

        • Bull0 says:

          That’s just you though, cosmetic microtransactions are still microtransactions. Saying BFV won’t have microtransactions is a lie

          • Hoot says:

            I think if anyone gets wound up about cosmetic microtransactions that have zero effect on gameplay then they’re probably just highly strung.

            Myself and most other people I talk to about games have no problem with this particular type as it doesn’t impact gameplay.

            I also said, and I quote, that it will not be a “microtransaction/DLC ripoff fest”, the obvious implication being that there won’t be oodles of overpriced DLC or lootbox shit for weapons, etc, a là Battlefront 2, not that there would be NO microtransactions at all. A small, but important distinction.

          • Bull0 says:

            Again, the fact that you don’t care about cosmetics doesn’t change the fact the game has cosmetic microtransactions, so spreading misinformation doesn’t really help anyone

          • DashRiot says:

            “the new Battlefield game will not be a microtranaction/DLC ripoff fest, with all post release content being free.”

            This is still true

          • DashRiot says:

            Post release cosmetic items won’t be free*

  4. Bull0 says:

    £30 is bloody ridiculous for a season pass, who’d pay that for some maps nobody will be playing when it pretty much pays for another full game?

  5. haldolium says:

    Good thing I don’t even remotely want the base game. Haha!

    /end of unnecessary comment

  6. Jodomar says:

    lol, Call of Fail.

  7. Baines says:

    This is a positive for playing online.

    Call of Duty has always had matchmaking issues, for both good and (mostly?) bad reasons. The more piecemeal you sell maps, the more you fragment the player base, and the harder matchmaking becomes.

    As for the idea of not being sure if you’ll like the game…If you don’t know if you’ll like the game, then *don’t* buy the Season Pass! It isn’t like they are going to stop selling season passes.

  8. Jernau Gurgeh says:

    Even though I am not the least bit interested in this game, I just want to add a little note to say thank you to RPS for giving the world the word ’codblops’, the best thing since sliced plunkbat.

  9. ALPHATT says:

    You guys at RPS always hated the COD campaigns anyways, so Im not sure why you care, but also COD DLC never featured any additional SP content, so idk what they are taking away here?

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