Black Ops 4 gets loot boxes

I don’t think anyone is really surprised to hear that loot boxes will be added to Black Ops 4 in its upcoming patch, as Activision has been caught lying to their customers on multiple occasions already. We all remember how we were told that Black Ops 4 wouldn’t even contain any sort of micro-transactions, only to see it being added to the game AFTER release, when all the game reviews had been written and most gamers had already purchased the game.

In this new effort of cramming that extra dollar out of their customers, they bring us the “Reserve case”, a euphemism for a loot box that will be sold for $2 in the in-game store. We are told that the contents will be cosmetic only, but we already kind of know that will change in the future…

Activision is in desperate need of increased revenue growth as their last earnings call didn’t impress their shareholders. After sacking 800 employees, mainly from their customers support divisions, this is the next step of the plan, increasing the monetization of their current products. By the looks of it, they are willing to pay any price in terms of relations to their customers, not that they have a great reputation to begin with. Maybe that’s how the reasoning went behind this decision. How much worse can their reputation actually become?

The Anthem in game store

EA and Bioware have been very silent regarding what kind of pricing model ANTHEM would release with. We knew early on that the store wouldn’t contain loot boxes, only cosmetic items, but then gamers in the beta found out that the cost of cosmetics were quite ridiculous with its $20 skins. Journalists have tried to get a response on the matter, but with statements like “this is just an iteration of the final product”, suspicion began to arise.

Now that the game is released for everyone: What does the store look like, what does it have to offer and what do the items cost? There are two currencies in the game, coins and shards, and as for now you can purchase all items with either of the currency type. While coins can be earned in game, shards can only be bought for real money in the following amounts. As usual there is a small bonus of shards the more money you spend.

  • 500 shards $4.99
  • 1050 shards $9.99
  • 2200 shards $19.99
  • 4600 shards $39.99

The baseline is basically that $1 will buy you a 100 shards. For your shards you can purchase armor packs, which are skins for your Javelin, the exosuit of your character, fabrics or metals, material customization for the exosuit, and lastly decals for your suit, which are exactly what they sound like.

While the pricing is not near as bad as it was in the beta, it doesn’t seem that EA are embarrassed by selling skins for almost $10 in a full priced $60 game, and they will probably continue in this manner unless we as gamers start calling them out. Not once, but game release after game release, by not purchasing games which contain these elements we don’t like. How much grindier the game has been made is a question only EA can answer. If you don’t like it, don’t buy it.