If you were worried fee-to-pay microtransactions were going to become the norm ... prepare to be justified. Activision has announced it'll be jumping aboard the bandwagon tomorrow, introducing incremental buy-me-ups for Call of Duty: Black Ops II.
The publisher promises its "Micro Items" won't affect gameplay and, in fairness, this appears to be true for the most part. Here are the three things players will be able to purchase as of tomorrow:
- Personalization Pack: Each pack as a unique weapon camo, three targeting reticles, custom calling card. $2.00/160 MS Points.
- Extra Slots Pack: 10 extra Create-a-Class loadout slots, plus room for 20 more emblems, 32 films, and 40 screenshots. $2.00/160 MS Points.
- Flags of the World Calling Card Pack: National flag themed calling cards. $1.00/80 MS Points.
The "Micro Items" will be coming to the Xbox 360, with a release on other systems unconfirmed.
As our own Chris Carter pointed out, the extra loadout slots could have a minor effect on gameplay, since players would be able to tailor any number of characters for any given situation and switch them out on the fly, giving them a more nuanced advantage. A small point maybe, but one the hardest of the core may consider.
On the whole, this isn't terribly bad, and I'll give Activision its props for being one of the few big publishers to remain evil in good old fashioned ways rather than bite fully into some of the newer, more insidious ideas of the past few years. Nevertheless, this is a glimpse of an upcoming generation filled with more online requirements and microtransaction leanings than ever before, and I can't say it fills me with glee.
The suspense is terrible ... I hope it'll last.