‘Black Ops 4’ microtransactions ask you to pay to avoid grinding for cosmetics

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 Review

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 launched without microtransactions, but we knew that wouldn’t last forever. Less than three weeks later, microtransactions, known as COD Points, have arrived in Black Ops 4. COD Points rolled out to PS4 first but will be added to Xbox One and PC versions of the game next week. Rest assured, these microtransactions aren’t a means to a pay-to-win scheme. However, pay-to-win or not, these microtransactions could be seen as predatory by some users.

COD Points can be used to advance in the Black Market tiers much quicker. At the moment, gaining experience in Black Market to unlock cosmetic rewards is a laborious process with a whole lot of grinding. COD Points let you buy Special Orders, which are unique tiers in Black Market. But you can also fly through standard Black Market tiers instantly by shelling out real cash. For 100 COD Points, which equates to $1, you can jump to the next tier and unlock rewards.

Although Black Ops 4 gives off the appearance of only having 200 Black Market tiers, once you hit the cap, it keeps going — seemingly endlessly. In other words, you could spend $200 or more instead of spending what is undoubtedly hundreds of hours of grinding. Buying COD Points in bulk saves you money, as you can get 130,000 points for $100. Again, the rewards for Black Market don’t provide a competitive advantage but the time it takes to grind for rewards might make the microtransactions feel compelling to some.

On top of the Black Market microtransactions, you can also buy Nebulium Plasma with COD Points. Nebulium Plasma is the material you need to make elixirs in Zombies. As those who play Zombies know, Nebullium Plasma isn’t exactly available in excess, and it has the potential to really alter the course of a run. So if you’re having trouble in Zombies, well, you can just spend some real money to up your chances of success.

Those who own the season pass automatically receive 1,000 COD Points and 300 Nebulium Plasma to start.

The debate surrounding the ethics of microtransactions is ever-evolving. Black Ops 4 certainly isn’t the worst offender based on its current model, but it’s easy to see how this move could ruffle some feathers within the community.


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