Call of Duty: Black Ops III follows Destiny’s example, adds paid Supply Drops

call of duty black ops 3 adds paid item drops codmicro header
Activision’s competitive first-person shooter Call of Duty: Black Ops III has rolled out a selection of in-game microtransactions, allowing players to purchase item drops outright using real money.

The shift to a microtransaction-based revenue model follows up on the recent implementation of a similar paid upgrade system in Bungie’s Destiny. Starting this week, players can purchase a moderately-leveled Destiny character at the game’s outset, skipping much of the experience grinding that defines the game’s early hours.

Black Ops III‘s microtransactions arrive alongside a recent influx of new equipment available via the in-game Black Market, including exclusive melee weapons, character outfits, taunts, and various cosmetic items. Black Market items are awarded randomly via Supply Drops, which players can purchase using Cryptokeys earned during gameplay.

Starting with this week’s update, however, players can purchase Rare Supply Drops outright using Call of Duty Points, a virtual currency available in the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC versions of Call of Duty: Black Ops III. Currently, Call of Duty Points are not available in the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 ports of Black Ops III.

All current players will receive a one-time gift of 200 Call of Duty Points after connecting to the game’s online multiplayer component, but additional currency must be purchased with real money. Call of Duty Points are available in digital bundles that range in price from $2 to $40.

Call of Duty Points can additionally be redeemed for additional Vials of Liquid Divinium in Black Ops III‘s Zombies mode. Vials of Liquid Divinium, which are also earned during gameplay, can be traded in for one-time-use perks called Gobblegums within the game’s Zombies mode.

A similar microtransaction scheme in Payday 2 drew criticism from veteran players upon its launch in October. Like Black Ops III, Payday 2 awards players with random loot drops during gameplay, and optional microtransactions give paying players more items than usual, potentially upsetting the game’s mechanical balance.

Product Review

'Black Ops 4' learns a few new tricks, but it's Call of Duty to the core

Despite nods to hero-based tactical gameplay, Call of Duty: Black Ops 4’s multiplayer feels as stable as ever -- even as the game trades in its story-driven campaign for the new Blackout mode.

GameStop manager marks ‘Call of Duty: Black Ops 4’ launch by mimicking cover art

To celebrate the launch of Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, GameStop stores held midnight launch events across the United States. One manager even cosplayed as the cover star from the game, complete with an accurate haircut.

From Blackout to Zombies, here's everything we know about 'Black Ops 4'

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 arrives on PS4, Xbox One, and PC on October 12. Here's everything you need to know about the game, including info on multiplayer, Zombies, Blackout, and Signature Weapons.

Get caught up on all things 'Fallout 76,' including when the beta starts

Bethesda's Fallout 76 takes the open world series in a new direction. With an emphasis on co-op, survival, and rebuilding a broken world, Fallout 76 will be the largest and most challenging game in the franchise yet.

W. Virginia isn’t for mutants, but its tourism board doesn’t mind if you think so

Bethesda and the state of West Virginia are partnering on a new tourism program intended to bring Fallout 76 fans to the state. Vault Boy sightings have been recorded across West Virginia already.

Here's where Xur is and what he has for wares this week in 'Destiny 2: Forsaken'

The weekly vendor in Destiny 2: Forsaken always brings Exotic weapons and armor, some of the toughest loot to find in the game. Here's everything you need to know to track down Xur: Where he is, when he shows up, and what he's stocking.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: DIY smartphones and zip-on bike tires

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!

Here’s our guide on how to get ‘Fortnite’ on your Android device

'Fortnite: Battle Royale' is one of the biggest games in the world right now, and it's finally on Android, even if getting set up is a bit long-winded. Here's how to play 'Fortnite: Battle Royale' on an Android device.

Put your iPad Pro to the test with these great games

Did you recently purchase a 10.5-inch iPad Pro, or are you enjoying the 12.9-inch version? If so, we've rounded up a few of the best iPad Pro games currently available on Apple's mobile platform.

Open-world video games are getting too big for their own good

As technology has progressed, open-world video games have grown increasingly bigger. What seems like a universal positive has shown problems preventing the genre from truly moving forward, however.
Product Review

The Oculus Rift is cheaper, the Vive Pro is better. Is the original Vive still worth it?

The Oculus Rift may have brought virtual reality into the public eye, but HTC’s Vive, built in partnership with Valve, does it better. Does the Vive still represent the true future of virtual reality, or are there better competitors on…

As deaf gamers speak up, game studios are finally listening to those who can’t

Using social media, personal blogs and Twitch, a small group of deaf and hard-of-hearing players have been working to make their voices heard and improve accessibility in the gaming industry.

Nvidia is slowly rolling out its next generation of GPUs. Here's what you need to know about them

Nvidia's new RTX 2000 series graphics cards are impressive pieces of hardware, with some amazing advancements and some rather high price tags to match. Here's everything you need to know about Nvidia's new top-tier cards.

Grab a comfy saddle — ‘Red Dead Redemption 2’ campaign clocks in at 60 hours

According to Rockstar Games co-founder and head writer Dan Houser, Red Dead Redemption 2 features a 60-hour story. Houser said "superfluous" content was removed from the game. It launches October 26 on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.