This year's Call of Duty is already making some big changes to the series' microtransaction model, and now one more renovation has been tacked on. Activision and Infinity Ward have confirmed today that Call of Duty: Modern Warfare will use a Battle Pass system in lieu of loot boxes.
Detailed on Activision's blog, the team says that all "functional content" that has an impact on the game's balance, like weapons and attachments, can be unlocked "simply by playing the game." After noting the "misinformed and incorrect info" about Modern Warfare's monetization and stressing that the team is "definitely NOT working on any kid of supply drop or loot box system," the developers posted today's blog to lay out the full plan.
Modern Warfare will have both a free and premium track, much like Destiny 2 or Fortnite, where you can accrue COD Points by playing the game. Both the Battle Pass and In-Game Store will contain cosmetic content as well, but that won't impact the actual gameplay-it'll just make your shooter-dude look a little cooler. Infinity Ward specifies that you won't have to pay for any weapon or attachment, but those will be naturally unlocked through playing the game, much like in the beta.
These passes will roll out in post-launch live seasons, with each one having themed content and every step of content visible so you can see what's in the pass before you buy into it. Importantly, this addresses concerns that players had over a feared return of supply drops during the Modern Warfare beta.
The battle pass won't roll out right away, but later on post-launch sometime this year.
This accompanies other changes, like the removal of the season pass and a la carte DLC maps, as well as cross-play across all platforms. It seems like Infinity Ward is aiming to build a very different model for Call of Duty moving forward, as fellow COD studio Treyarch tweeted in support of it today.
What this means for the shifting face of Call of Duty will be seen next week, when it hits PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on Oct. 25. It looks like, in the midst of loot box scrutiny, battle passes have become the new answer for many major publishers.