Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 now contains microtransactions, much to the disappointment of fans. This isn’t exactly new news, we knew that they were coming to the game, we just didn’t know in which fashion they would be implemented.
You’re now able to buy the in-game currency ‘COD Points’ on the PS4 version of the game. Yes, PlayStation owners even get access to microtransactions early.
These COD points can be used to purchase Nebulium Plasma in Zombies, gain access to the new Special Orders in the Black Market, and also to advance through the cosmetic Black Market tiers.
The main issue for COD fans here is the ability to buy your way through the Black Market cosmetic items tiers. Without buying your way through them, it’s extremely laborious to get anywhere near the last tier, and some are even debating if it’s even possible at all to get to the final tier in the allotted time slot without spending real money. It seems as though Treyarch have deliberately made it next to impossible in order to try and encourage people to spend money.
Also included in the tiers are ‘Reserves’, which are essentially BO4’s version of supply drops. These are randomised loot boxes, you don’t know what is included in them.
Another new microtransaction is the paid-for Special Orders; these are more cosmetic items for you to unlock in the Black Market but are separate from the tiers. Treyarch explains them like:
“With Special Orders, players can stack each tier with multiple items to unlock at once, allowing everyone to maximise item unlocks with two items per tier at all times and up to three items per tier when Special Events are live (like the Halloween event live right now!).
“Players can choose when to acquire and start progressing through Special Orders, and only one can be active at a time. Though Special Orders will rotate on a regular basis, they will stay in your inventory once acquired until they’re completed, and you can switch between active Special Orders at any time. Once a Special Order is activated, you’ll see the new content drop in starting on the Black Market tier you’re currently on.”
The problem with the paid-for Special Orders is that the items you receive from them have previously been available in other Call of Duty games for free, via game progression and play time.
These microtransactions have been released just in time for the launch of ‘Blackjack’s Shop’, which will be launching this month and will allow players to directly purchase cosmetic items without having to progress through tiers. The items in the shop will change weekly.
It is important to note that these microtransactions do only provide you with cosmetic items: such as weapon skins, sprays and outfits – you will in no way gain an advantage in play by spending real money, which is a relief.
The main issue I personally have with the microtransactions is that a lot of these items were in previous Call of Duty games and were available by playing the game without spending any more money. This—coupled with the poor choice of forcing players to purchase a season pass blindly without knowing what will be included and not offering players the ability to purchase expansion packs on an individual basis—has really annoyed me, and I will be asking Chris to amend his Call of Duty Black Ops 4 review to highlight these new issues.
On a side note, it’s interesting to see these microtransactions unveiled after reviews have been published. It won’t work with us though, we’re in the business of keeping our reviews updated.
If you would like to know what we think of DLC and microtransactions take a look at our feature: Is Downloadable Content Good for Gaming?