A Discovery in the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Beta Suggests Supply Drops Will Return

A Discovery in the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Beta Suggests Supply Drops Will Return

Despite criticism over microtransactions in the previous two games, CoD might be bringing back random-roll drops.

It looks like Call of Duty may not do away with loot boxes in 2019. Infinity Ward and Activision haven't disclosed any plans for microtransactions in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, but a discovery in the game's PlayStation 4 multiplayer beta suggests it's bringing back the series' Supply Drops in some form. Call of Duty's history with loot box mechanics parallels that of many games, and some fans would prefer to see the franchise follow the lead of games that are reigning in randomized microtransactions or eliminating them completely.

YouTuber NerosCinema spotted what appears to be a notification for a loot box drop on the beta's After Action Report screen after ranking up to level 6. In the beta, the purpose of ranking up is to unlock loadout creation and more choices for killstreaks and field upgrades, all of which are accessible through the Barracks menu. Since the "next unlock" window next to the loot box notification NerosCinema got is empty, it appears as though the unlock notices in the After Action Report are at least partially disabled in the beta.

The last two Call of Duty titles both featured microtransaction systems that generated significant fan backlash. In response to frustration over duplicate items and valuable weapons locked behind randomized Common Supply Drops, Sledgehammer Games overhauled Call of Duty: WW2's Supply Drop system a few months after launch. Last year, Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 added microtransactions a few weeks after the game went live, irking players who found advancing through the game's Black Market battle pass for item unlocks to be arduously slow. With the update, Treyarch and Activision sped up the process some while also adding the option to simply purchase pass tiers outright.

Whether or not Call of Duty: Modern Warfare launches with loot box mechanics, adds them in a subsequent update, or avoids them outright, the decisions Infinity Ward and Activision make will be scrutinized by players and regulators alike. This week a U.K. ministry published a report that strongly recommended regulating loot boxes as a form of gambling, and though countries may not follow Belgium's lead in banning loot boxes outright. Several countries, including the United States, are watching how developers choose to self-regulate in response to government scrutiny.

Call of Duty is the kind of staple franchise where removal of a minimap makes waves on social media. If players find something they find distasteful about the way Modern Warfare approaches microtransactions, it likely wouldn't escape the attention of loot box critics pushing for regulation.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare will be released for the PS4, Xbox One, and PC on October 25.

Sometimes we include links to online retail stores. If you click on one and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. See our terms & conditions.

Mathew Olson


Mathew Olson is a writer formerly of Digg, where he blogged and reported about all things under the umbrella of internet culture (including games, of course). He lives in New York, grew up under rain clouds and the influence of numerous games studios in the Pacific Northwest, and will talk your ear off about Half-Life mods, Talking Heads or Twin Peaks if you let him.

Read this next

Meet the Player Protesting Call of Duty: Modern Warfare's Violence by Playing as a Pacifist

This artist's act of protesting the violence in the Modern Warfare series is playing them without hurting a soul.

The Hectic Shipment Map Returns to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare

Coming as part of the "biggest content drop" in the history of Call of Duty.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare's Latest Patch Adds in Gun Game

Also, it's led to some more map leaks.

The Game Awards 2019 Nominations: Control and Death Stranding Among Top Nominees

And Smash Bros. gets some belated acknowledgement.

NPD: 2019 Is a Record Year for Fighting Game Sales

Still, Modern Warfare dominated October and the year.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Patch is Trying to Address Your Thundering Footsteps

Also, Piccadilly should hopefully be less of a circus.

The Aptly Named "Shoot House" Will Be Among the Free Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Maps Released Tomorrow

A new Ground War map and a returning mode is coming to multiplayer too.

More News

Pokemon is Getting a New Series of Animated Shorts Set in the Galar Region

The hopes and dreams of Galar region's trainers are coming soon to a small screen near you.

Exclusive: Check Out This Chill Track From the Composer of Ninja Gaiden and Tecmo Bowl

Keiji Yamagishi puts his spin on a track from Card of Darkness.

More on PC

What Was Your Favorite Reveal At The Game Awards 2019?

COMMUNITY QUESTION | It was another packed night for game announcements. What do you think was the best of them?

The 15 Best Games You Probably Missed in 2019

From flight sim to train sim, these are the best games that probably slipped past your radar this year.

Game Awards 2019 Recap: The Night’s Big Trailers and Reveals

Sizzle reels for everything from upcoming DLC to the next Xbox.

Borderlands 3 Shift Codes List and Golden Keys (December 2019)

All the info you need on getting and redeeming SHiFT Codes in Borderlands 3, plus how to get Golden Keys to earn loot.

GTA Online: What is the Payout of the Diamond Casino Heist?

We take a look at how much money you can make in the new Diamond Casino Heist.

More FPS Games

Xbox Series X Asks the Question, "What's in a Name?"

THIS WEEK IN BUSINESS | Microsoft not only unveiled its next console this week, but now Sony will start making games for other consoles too?

Half-Life: Alyx Won't Be at The Game Awards 2019 After All

The VR-exclusive Half-Life won't share more info as part of tonight's festivities after all.

The Game Awards is Launching a New Initiative Featuring Limited-Time Demos of Upcoming Games

Over a dozen games will have demos available for a limited time.