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?
When you think Activision can’t sink any lower with Black Ops 4, here they are, surprising us all again. Their latest addition to the in-game shop is a red dot reticle for your reflex sight, and they are charging the equivalent of $1 for it.
“But it’s just $1.” I prefer to phrase it the other way around. “It’s just a red dot!” To be frank, I don’t see where Activision get the balls to try and charge gamers $1 for a few red pixels. Surely they have to understand that a scheme like this will blow up in their face and put more fuel to the fire of “Cashtivision”
So why do they do this? To get players credit card numbers on the hook. Players who would never spend anything in the game otherwise but think “But it’s just $1.” When the next “crazy sale” of 50% off digital items opens up, it’s only one click of a button away…
When Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 was released none of the reviewers mentioned anything about microtransactions. The reason for that is because there weren’t any in the game at that point. As players started progressing through the game tiers, many people noticed it was slightly grindy. Three weeks after the game release, as many players already have purchased the game and have invested a lot of time into it, Activision Blizzard silently adds microtransactions to the game.
If you want to own that tier 200 weapon variant you better come with cash in hand, $200 to be precise, or grind 250+ in game hours. To top it off there is a time limit, making it an impossible feat for most people. £1.79/$2 will buy you 200 points, £8.49/$9.99 1100 points, £16.79/$19.99 2.400 points, £34.99/$39.99 5000 points and £84.99/$99.99 will buy you 13.000 points. The points can then be spent on a simple outfit, basically a set of in game clothes, for 800 points, or 200 points to advance through one of level tiers.
Call of Duty fans are naturally upset about the direction Activision Blizzard are moving the game, and at this point you wonder exactly what is going to tip the scale to the point when the gaming community has had enough. It seems like all of the AAA publishers are all moving along the same path of microtransactions, but have learned from their earlier mistakes, and now are trying to sneak them into their games. I wish them all the luck in world.