Call of Duty: Black Ops 4

Developer/Publisher: Treyarch Activision Blizzard
Platforms: PS4, One, Win
Genre: Action
Release date: Friday 12th October 2018


Acquiring some high-tier rewards in this game is reliant more on luck-based gambling mechanics than player progression or skill View more games with this feature

Pay to Win

This game has gameplay-effecting items that can be acquired with money View more games with this feature

No-Limit Microtransactions

Due to the randomised gambling mechanics implemented in this game, it is possible to spend an infinite amount of money on microtransactions and never acquire the specific item you want View more games with this feature

Microtransactions Introduced Post-Launch

This game originally launched without microtransactions, which were then introduced afterwards. A practice typically employed to ensure the best possible reviews. Disappointing for gamers who purchased the game with the belief that high-tier end-game rewards would be acquired via player progression and skill, as opposed to being purchased with money View more games with this feature

Loot Boxes With Duplicate Items

This game contains loot box randomised gambling mechanics where rewarded items can be duplicated. Developers typically flood the prize pool with low-tier undesirable items in order to reduce the chances of a player getting the high-tier items they want. The sole purpose of also allowing the items to be duplicates in loot boxes is to further frustrate and manipulate players into spending money. View more games with this feature

Includes Macrotransactions

This game features an internal shop that allows users to spend money on items costing above $10, that cannot be considered micro-transactions View more games with this feature

Platform-Exclusive Content

This game is available on multiple platforms, however, some content is exclusively available on specific platforms. This can include in-game content or timed exclusivity, where a certain platform gains access to features ahead of others. This means that even though they cost the same price, gamers on different platforms do not get access to all of the same content. This is a needless anti-consumer practice View more games with this feature

Time-Limited Virtual Items

Virtual items which are only purchasable for a limited time, encouraging users to spend money before the items are no longer available View more games with this feature

Includes Microtransactions

This game features an internal shop that allows users to spend money on items costing below $10 View more games with this feature

Pre-order Bonuses

This game offers bonus content to incentify players to pre-order the title before its release date. This means that if players wish to gain access to this content, they must forgo the ability to read reviews and bug reports in order to check the quality of the product before they purchase. Once launched, the pre-order bonuses are often unobtainable, meaning even though players will pay the same price, they will miss out on the content altogether. View more games with this feature

Suitable for Mature Gamers

This game may contain content such as intense and/or realistic portrayals of violence, strong sexual themes, and frequent use of strong language View more games with this feature

Season Pass with Purchasable Tiers

A form of video game monetization in which gamers purchase a discounted package of downloadable content that can be unlocked as they progress through the tiers by playing the game and completing challenges, or alternatively pay money in order to skip tiers and unlock rewards faster View more games with this feature

Purchasable Cosmetic Items

This game features an internal shop with optional cosmetic items than do not effect gameplay. These may include skins, shaders, aesthetic items such as pets or mounts View more games with this feature

Online Multiplayer

This game features an online multiplayer mode in which more than one person can play in the same game environment at the same time, online over the internet View more games with this feature

Premium Game with Monetised Gambling Mechanics

This is a premium-priced game that still includes purchasable luck-based randomised gambling mechanics such as loot boxes, used to distribute high-tier end-game rewards View more games with this feature

Black Ops 4 launched in October 2018 after a difficult development cycle in which it was originally intended to be a Overwatch clone. Play testers did not respond well to game designer David Vonderhaar’s Overwatch copycat ideas and in a now deleted tweet, he said: “It’s a bit humiliating when you pitch core System Designs but the response falls flat. I am currently licking my wounds while simultaneously using my position of authority to get my team to bail me out of trouble.”

With months before launch, the single-player campaign was controversially scrapped entirely in favour of focussing on the struggling multiplayer features, while developer Raven Software was brought in to add a Battle Royale mode into the package.

At launch, the game featured the solid gun play that Treyarch was famous for, but it was also riddled with bugs and server issues. Even six months post launch the game still featured glaring bugs and user-interface glitches that remained unfixed and shined a light on just how unfinished the original product was.

Black Ops 4 also launched without any microtransactions or loot boxes to the praise of critics and fans alike, with the promise of a season pass to delivery new content throughout the year. The items were initially cosmetic-only but later in another disappointing move, Treyarch re-introduced loot boxes which contained new overpowered weapons, leaving fans with little option but to declare the game to be “Pay to Win”.

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