They were added post-launch: sneaky!
So Call of Duty: Black Ops 4′s Blackout battle royale mode has been doing a great low key job of spicing things up slightly, but it’s suffered a lot of competition lately: mainly due to the likes of Apex Legends. Activision’s answer? A cool looking Grand Heist update. That’s good! But it also added loot boxes. That’s bad!
Pretty much everyone hated them, especially since the rate at which loot boxes (cases) accrued was abysmally low. The company responded in turn by doubling that rate, which includes a retroactive return for players who are already at a higher tier.
Activision defends the system in a reddit post detailing the latest patch, noting “The goal of this system was to give more players more frequent access to content in Reserves, as players could now earn them from the start by playing the game, rather than only gaining access after completing Tier 100. However, by moving progress toward Reserves up front instead of at the end of the stream, this had an unintended effect on players who progressed through the first 100 Tiers. Initial earn rates for Blackjack’s Reserve Cases through gameplay were also too slow. These issues and more are being resolved today.”
Loot boxes weren’t the only thing addressed in the update, as a bunch of new playlists were added as well, in addition to Blackout content like new vehicles.