While many of you may have been surprised to see Call of Duty Black Ops 4 release without any microtransaction scandals, reviews have been favorable to the game, and even gamers who didn’t expect to enjoy the title have given it praise, there were signs of something suspicious in the game last weekend.
Black Market has emerged as a new way for players to get rewarded with extra unlockable characters, spray paint logos, emotes, and weapon skins will be indeed turned into a monetization scheme next month when its Cash Shop launches. Even though the game takes a much more acceptable approach to drip-feeding content then later asking for payment from those who don’t wish to put in the time to unlock it – there’s still a big problem here.
The grind. In order to unlock all Black Market “contraband” in the current Operation: First Strike season, players would have to make it to Tier 200 within the next 48 days. Even during the Double XP weekend that just took place it became clear that this would require playing the game more weekly hours than a full time job. The coolest of the rewards is the second to last thing given to you of course, a character skin for Blackout that resembles the infamous Hitman of IO Interactive / Square Enix).
Now don’t get me wrong here, I actually like the Black Market concept and I think it’s great Activision Blizzard and Treyarch are not pursuing the evils of lootboxes in Black Ops 4 seen reaching its peak during Star Wars Battlefront 2’s early days. I also like how the Battle Pass drip feeds a large amount of content instead of staggered DLC packs, it will keep the game fresh.
There’s even a Halloween Event going on for 9 more days with content spread out among tiers trailing off at Tier 24. You advance in tiers just by earning points playing Black Ops 4 any way you want to. But sadly, the amount of time investment being demanded for good content is perhaps 3 to 4 times as harsh as Fortnite Battle Pass content is.
As for the Cash Shop, it seems Activision Blizzard claims that they will be selling direct purchases of content which are available for a limited time in a revolving door scenario. Clearly, again being influenced by Fortnite, this isn’t such a bad thing compared to past monetization schemes game companies have used against players. Everything is cosmetic too for those wondering. However, without the ability to purchase Black Market Tiers confirmed at this time, it does seem that some content will just be impossible for players to obtain. If it doesn’t hit the Cash Shop, and you don’t have 70 hours a week to play Black Ops 4 – then forget about that Hitman skin!
Our full review of Black Ops 4 is coming this week! Stay tuned.