Activision has laid-out its post-launch plans for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare ahead of its release next week, pledging that it will be monetising the game (as Infinity Ward’s studio art director Joel Emslie hinted at on Monday) through a Battle Pass system and in-game store, rather than through the loot boxes seen in previous titles.
Battle Passes will, as with other games that use the increasingly common system, be released on a seasonal basis, with each one bringing new content that matches the theme of each season.
Additionally, Modern Warfare’s Battle Pass will feature both free and premium reward tiers, known as “Streams”, with the likes of base weapons and attachments, as well as COD Points, being earned through gameplay. Cosmetic-only content will be available within the Battle Pass and through Modern Warfare’s in-game store.
“All functional content that has an impact on game balance, such as base weapons and attachments, can be unlocked simply by playing the game,” insists Activision
Notably, Modern Warfare’s new Battle Pass System won’t be available when the game launches next Friday. This, explains Activision, is to ensure the Day One experience is “awesome”, and to enable players to focus on playing and unlocking the rewards in the core game.
Understandably there are still questions around how the economy will evolve throughout the post-launch, live seasons,” the publisher continued in its latest blog post, “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.”
In previous years, Activision has launched its Call of Duty efforts with no micro-transaction systems in place, making it next to impossible to judge their impact on release.
Traditionally that grace period has then been followed by increasingly egregious micro-transaction offerings that provide distinct gameplay advantages for those willing to pay. As such, trust in the publisher, and its ability to keep its word, isn’t exactly high – so it’ll be fascinating to see if it’s able to stick to the post-launch systems outlined in its latest post.
Activision also reiterates a number of previously known points regarding its post-launch content plans for Modern Warfare. Season Passes and DLC multiplayer maps are out, so as not to splinter the player base, and it will be delivering all post-launch multiplayer maps and modes for free, and across all platforms simultaneously.