Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 microtransactions are here, and they are not being received particularly well by the community despite having been warned about their eventual implementation by developer Treyarch. The microtransactions were introduced earlier today on PS4 in the form of currency called COD Points.
Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 is no stranger to controversy, as the game endured a storm of it prior to its release when Treyarch revealed it was doing away with the single player campaign entirely to focus more on multiplayer modes. While that change was initially received poorly by fans, the game's launch saw many converted to Treyarch's way of thinking regarding solo content after the multiplayer experience was considered some of the best the series has offered in recent years.
Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 microtransactions might not have the same luxury of being eventually embraced by the game's community, however, according to a report from Eurogamer. COD Points are used to buy Nebulium Plasma in zombies, access new Special Orders in the Black Market, and to progress through the game's cosmetic tiers that are also tied to the Black Market. The latter is one of the bigger sticking points for those who are upset by the microtransaction system within the game, as the grind to progress through tiers has been described as brutally slow, well behind the pacing of other similar systems within the same genre of games.
Now, we might have an answer for why that progression is so lethargic. Players can now use COD Points to skip the grind - the problem being that to do so would likely cost players somewhere in the range of $175 USD, give or take depending on where they already are in the tier progression.
That's not all, of course. Paying for Special Orders is also new, and will work as described by Treyarch:
"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...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."
Unfortunately for Treyarch, fans are also exceedingly upset by the implementation of these Special Orders. People are unhappy at the notion of completing paid-for challenges to unlock cosmetic items that have been historically free in other Call of Duty series entries. On top of this, there are additional plans for Black Ops 4 microtransactions in the form of Blackjack's Shop later this November, a place where players can directly buy cosmetic gear that's stocked in limited supply.
While Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 hasn't gone the dreaded pay-to-win route with its microtransaction model, players are still concerned over the precedent that's being set with COD Points currently. People have been drawing direct comparisons to Fortnite's similar model of microtransactions, with a key difference being that Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 is a game that costs the typical full price of other AAA releases, while Fortnite is a free-to-play game that uses its in-game currencies as its primary means of profit.
That distinction is important, and it's likely the biggest reason Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 has incited its community into a full-blown uproar over what they perceive to be an exploitative practice on the part of Treyarch. That, and they've already had to deal with some suspicious practices in the form of Call of Duty: Black Ops 4's season pass system as well, another model that appears explicitly designed to simply grab as much money from the community as possible without giving them much choice.