"Microtransactions" is a dirty word in the gaming community, but that hasn't prevented some major AAA titles from implementing them. Of course, for the most part, gamers don't mind microtransactions for cosmetic-only items, but there is a line that Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 seemingly crosses. Although players have the ability to grind for some of these items, which is still a grind despite updating the tier-gain speed, unlocking every base tier item and the ridiculous amounts of randomized items could potentially cost up to $3,500, according to some estimates.
To explain, unlocking every base item on Black Market would still require players to grind for 250+ hours or pay $200. Assuming Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 introduces new content every two months, plus content through seasonal events, that's likely $1,400/year. This total is before microtransactions are introduced.
Reserves (Supply Drops) are back and give players no control over which 1 item that will be received. Various stickers, emotes, sprays, face paints, and outfits cannot be equipped without owning the full set, and players cannot mix outfits and face paints with others. This means players will have to wait and unlock a full set before taking advantage of these items. In-game, it could require 2 hours to receive 1 item.
It's worth adding that the chances of obtaining a full set are incredibly slim since there is only 1 item per reserve. With the price of COD Points, this would substantially increase the total from $1,400/year based on randomized supply drop items, emotes, sticker, spray tags, calling cards, weapons, variants and characters with estimations reaching $3,500. Of course, those who do not see incentive in this cosmetic-only style of microtransaction do not have to pay more than they wish, and it's unlikely that many would actually want to own every item in Black Ops 4. Alternatively, players can still grind for those microtransactions.
While we can only wait and see how Treyarch responds to this controversy, it's worth noting that the company has been listening to its player base. After all, the company updated its servers following a community backlash.Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 is available now on PC, PS4, and Xbox One.