It's taken a few years longer than most big publishers, but Activision are finally turning away from paid DLC map packs for the next Call Of Duty. New maps and modes will hit Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare free for all players, the CoD crew announced last night. Loot boxes are also being ripped out, replaced with the new hotness of a Battle Pass system with free and paid tracks. And they insist that "all functional content that has an impact on game balance" can be unlocked by playing. Sounds better, on paper.
So yes, the team said in the announcement, no Season Pass, no multiplayer map packs, no loot boxes. About damn time they stopped splitting the playerbase with DLC maps. "All functional content that has an impact on game balance, such as base weapons and attachments, can be unlocked simply by playing the game," they say. And it has a Battle Pass.
As is common with Battle Passes, Modern Warfare's will have free and "premium" tracks, offering some things to everyone but more to those who pay. They're vague on what exactly is unlocked by Battle Pass progress. Cosmetic doodads are in, and they say some microtransaction cash (ye olde COD Points) can be earned on the Pass too. The fact that they specify "base weapons" can be unlocked by playing suggests variants might be on the Pass.
Preempting scepticism about CoD turning over a new leaf, they add:
"Understandably there are still questions around how the economy will evolve throughout the post-launch, live seasons. We recognise this will take time to fully demonstrate. Please know we are committed to delivering a fair system guided by the principles we've outlined here, and will continue to monitor feedback and player engagement to help us achieve that goal."
I'll believe it when I see it. Activision can't be running so afraid of Fortnite that they'll actually let a game treat players half-way nicely, can they? The game does still have a PlayStation-exclusive mode, Special Ops.
Supposed leaks in September that not only would Modern Warfare have loot boxes, the boxes would contain gun unlocks. Whether that was once true or not (and it had little to support it), the idea unsurprisingly riled many fans.
Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare is due to launch on October 25th. The Battle Pass system will be added later in the year, because the devs say they want to focus on launch day and give players time to unlock what's already in the base game.