The controversy continues, as Activision and Treyarch's Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 has come under fire for the relentless grind of gameplay versus quick-fix microtransactions. After all the drama surrounding Star Wars Battlefront II and others, it seems some publishers still haven't learned from the mistakes of the past.
Black Ops 4 famously ditched its single-player campaign in favor of a wholly multiplayer experience. With so many players taking to the battlefield at once, competition has been fierce, and it's easy to see why some have turned to microtransactions for that leg up. Caving to the pressure of its competitors, Activision recently added those controversial microtransactions to Black Ops 4.
Posting on Reddit, one furious gamer by the name of Refractives outlined just how unfair Black Ops 4's current system is. Explaining why other fans should be up in arms about the game's microtransactions, Refractives highlighted that it would take over 250 hours or cost $200 before players can get their hands on a new Tier 200 weapon variant. Considering there's a time limit on acquiring these variants, Activision seems to be actively encouraging players to part with their cash.
Elsewhere, Refractives revealed that it takes around two hours to earn a single item as small as a sticker, emote or outfit that can't be equipped unless the full set is already owned. There's also no control over what random items come from Tier progression and the Reserves supply drop. Finally, the post noted that it's confusing why Black Ops 4 has changed what worked reasonably well in the past for the likes of 2015's Call of Duty: Black Ops 3.
All of the above come alongside the return of the Black Market and seasonal events. Although Activision hyped the Black Market as the one-stop shop for Black Ops 4, it has only managed to drum up negative press so far. As it stands, Activision has locked its items behind the Black Market and given users little alternative other than shelling out with real-world money. It's a shame, considering some games have tried to readdress the use of microtransactions, and paint them in a more positive light. Fornite is purely cosmetic and Bethesda has already promised that the upcoming Fallout 76 will make sure its ongoing DLC content will be free thanks to microtransactions.
Whether a necessary evil or just a way for companies to make more money, it looks like microtransactions are here to stay. As the Reddit post tells readers, it seems baffling that Activision and developers at Treyarch have put a higher price tag than the game itself on relatively minor items. Whether things change remains to be seen, but for the time being, angry fans have put Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 in the crosshairs of their sniper rifles.