Call Of Duty's Latest Microtransaction Is A Tiny Red Dot

Screenshot: Activision

For a game that’s already taking heat from its player base for the price of its extra cosmetic items, Black Ops 4's latest offering seems especially difficult to swallow. A red dot reticle showed up in the Black Ops 4 Black Market on December 25, wearing a price tag of 100 COD Points, or about $1.

A dollar price tag may not sound like a big deal for some, and charging for a basic dot to use on the Reflex sight attachment is laughable at best. However, Activision’s overall microtransactions strategy for Black Ops 4 isn’t landing well with all members of the Call of Duty community, and the dot is just another straw on the proverbial camel.

Screenshot: PrestigeIsKey

Many people were also disappointed that items they purchased from the Black Market at the end of December were quickly discounted at 50 per cent off days later. The Black Market contains items such as skins, emblems, and camos that are updated weekly, bi-weekly, and daily.

One recent pricey weekly item was the Takeo Blackout character skin for 800 COD Points, which was marked down to 400 COD Points just a few days after being added to the shop.

I play a lot of Blackout, and I was initially eager to get the skin, but my indecisiveness paid off. I waited, saw the half-off sale, and jumped on the deal. To everyone who purchased Takeo right before the Black Market updated with the discounted price, let me just say: ouch. Call of Duty YouTuber PrestigeIsKey had a pretty heartfelt rant on this issue, and other players have voiced their displeasure via Twitter.

Adding insult to injury for Xbox One X players, an update on December 18 created an issue with Blackout freezing or crashing on Xbox One X consoles, if the player managed to survive late into a match. When the Call of Duty Twitter account tweeted about the Black Market sale and holiday Double XP event, there were some angry tweets that demanded a fix and extension for the event.

Treyarch finally released an update on January 3, addressing the catastrophe plaguing the Xbox One X consoles, but those players had already missed out on earning double XP. They could still buy reticles and new character skins, though.

Now that Call of Duty has entered the battle royale competition and added a Fortnite-style progression system for earning gear, Activision might want to take notes from Epic Games in terms of how the cosmetic content should be handled. Being hit up for $US1 ($1) for a new reticle feels a little money-grubbing in 2018's best-selling $US60 ($84) game.


Comments

    What's so great with how epic handle cosmetic content, someone explain.

      The game is free and can be played in full for free. The cosmetic content is just that - purely cosmetic. For those who want to purchase cosmetics there's two options - buy the specific thing you want at a specified price. Or purchase the "season battle pass" which allows you to unlock quite a lot of cosmetic content AND currency that comes quite close to covering the cost of the next seasons "battle pass" assuming you play enough.

      It's a good model for adults. For kids who don't understand the dollar values of the in-game "currency" it's toxic crack cocaine. But parents should be using it as a valuable lesson in financial management.

    Back in the day, we'd just pop a bit of blu-tac on the screen where the targeting point was. That did the job.

      Haha, I remember doing that on Subspace/Continuum.

        Was mostly Counter Strike for us, but it generally worked for any FPS. Trick was figuring out where the point was. As it changed from game to game as well which was annoying, our gaming decisions were often dictated by where each games dot was.

    Hey Kotaku, the sponsored content feed is still a nightmare. Just thought you'd like to know since clearly a lot of effort is going into fixing the problems....

    I love the direction they have taken with micro-transactions in BO4. IMO they are so crap that I cant imagine huge sales numbers (possible reason why the heavy discounting so early) If the decline is significant enough maybe they will start winding back micro-transactions and eventually disappear from AAA games forever..... one can only dream!

    A red dot? A RED dot?!
    A microtransaction for a. Red. Dot.
    This is disgusting and ridiculous...!

    I would have preferred orange...

    But really, I don't think any of us are actually surprised by any of this. I don't know about you but my expectations are so low for gaming companies these days that I just wait for news like this and lazily roll my eyes and continue my day; after posting a comment complaining about it all first, of course.

    I'm half expecting a game to start offering logos and slogans on bullets..

      A marketing guy reading this just had his mind blown.

      Thanks... Thanks a LOT! ;p

      Already half way there when Capcom did their logo thing for sfv on character models. It even made it so you got less fight money in the game if you didn't have the advertising.

    If anyone is dumb enough to buy this, then I say good luck to them. Everyone still has a choice not to purchase content they deem has little or no value.

    Generally if I see business practices that are clearly just phishing for cash, I avoid those products or brands. Rather than begrudgingly making a purchase and complaining about it after the fact.

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