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So long, supply drops: Call of Duty gets rid of randomized loot boxes, Ars Technica

So long, supply drops: Call of Duty gets rid of randomized loot boxes, Ars Technica


      War sometimes changes? – Hey.

             

Items with “an impact on game balance” will be earned only through gameplay.

      

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This image of a<em>Call of Duty</em>supply drop falling to the ground can also symbolize the entire concept floating up and out of our lives.

Enlarge/This image of aCall of Dutysupply drop falling to the ground can also symbolize the entire concept floating up and out of our lives.

In a major reversal for the franchise, Activision has announced that the upcomingCall of Duty: Modern Warfarewill not include a loot-box system. Specifically, the companysaysthat ” all functional content that has an impact on game balance, such as base weapons and attachments, can be unlocked simply by playing the game. “

Loot boxes have been a staple of theCall of Dutyfranchisesince 2014 ‘sAdvanced Warfare, which included randomized “supply drops” of high-end gear that could be purchased with real money or in-game currency. More recently,Call of Duty: Black Ops 4introduced a loot-box system four months after its launch, a decision that led toa lot of money for the publisheranda lot of anger from franchise fans.

User interface elements from last month’sModern Warfarebetasuggested Activision was planning to continue the tradition with a “Lootbox: Common Supply Drop” option in the upcoming game. But developer Infinity Wardtook to Reddit earlier this weekto offer some pushback on those reports, saying that “right now … we are definitely NOT working on any kind of supply drop or loot box system.”

Activision was even clearerin a blog post todaysaying that the game will forgo randomized item drops in favor of letting players unlock all “weapons and functional attachments” only through gameplay. Much likeFortnite,Modern Warfarewill also feature a Battle Pass system with free and “premium” streams of “cool newModern Warfare– themed content “on a season-by-season basis. That system “will allow players to see the content that they are earning or buying,” Activision promises, and will launch later this year, sometime after the game’s October 25 launch.

Pushed back by the pushback? )

Many gamers have decried loot boxes as a form of unwanted “pay to win” mechanics (or asan egregious way to sell cosmetic items) for years now. But a sustained public backlash against the practice formed in late 2017 Aftera particularly egregious implementation inStar Wars: Battlefront IIrose to infamy. That controversy in turn helped lead tonumerousgovernmenteffortsto curb the sale of randomized in-game items, which many likened to unregulated gambling. BothBelgiumandthe Netherlandshave banned the practice outright, forcing some developers toalter or remove their gamesin those countries.

Games likeRocket League,Fortnite, andMiddle-Earth: Shadow of Warhave voluntarily removed loot boxes in the wake of that backlash. MeanwhileApple,Google, andthe major console makershave started requiring companies to disclose the odds of getting specific random items from paid loot boxes.

That hasn’t stopped loot boxes fromcontinuing to be a major economic force in the gaming world, and neither has it stopped major publisherslike EAfrom arguing in their favor. But the lack of randomized loot boxes in the nextCall of Dutyfeels like a concrete sign that the public pushback against the practice is having an impact on some of the biggest games in the industry.                   

              

                  

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