Activision just changed the game – or at least attempted to appear to be thinking about changing the game as such. They’ve suggested in an article today that Call of Duty: Modern Warfare will not use loot boxes. “We are introducing a new Battle Pass system, not a loot box system,” said an Activision representative. They’ve been a bit tricky about the way they’ve worded all of this – but there is some hope for a future without the addictive nonsense universe that lives in loot boxes in video games today.
“All functional content that has an impact on game balance, such as base weapons and attachments, can be unlocked simply by playing the game,” said an Activision representative. “The Battle Pass and the In-Game Store will feature a variety of cosmetic content that does not impact game balance.”
That seems to be a pretty solid way of locking down the way in which the company can make money in the game in the future. It suggests that they’re no longer interested in cashing in on the lottery system that is “randomly” packed blind-filled loot boxes.
Instead, per the words Activision shared today (linked below), it would seem that they’re more interested in cashing in on aesthetic customizations – like if you want to get a lovely slime green pair of boots and a bubblegum pink helmet. This system of purchases already exists, for custom item skins, it’s the rest of the stuff that’s gonna change.
That is, if Activision sticks to their word. We’ve sent the announcement from Activision to the Internet Archive Wayback Machine and found that it’s been archived several times already – several times since the post was released this afternoon. Take a peek at the Internet Archive version of the page and see if that number goes up. Generally this means that a variety of people have tried to archive the page to make sure the original creator of the page (the blog from Activision, in this case) doesn’t have a chance to change what they’ve written without a trustworthy snapshot showing what was posted before a change.
In short – Activision is a big gaming company that’s used loot boxes (and the like) in the past. They’re also one of the companies that agreed to make a change in the way loot boxes were used. It would seem that they MIGHT be moving to a new sort of income model entirely now that it’s clear they’re not harmless. Now we look to other, similar companies and wait.