Call of Duty changes things up more than any game in the series has for a while. Black Ops 4 will be the first game in the popular shooter series to not include a traditional single-player campaign. It features a battle royale mode, Blackout, instead.
We're not here to look at the quality of this new mode, however. We aren't here to look at the quality of the game at all, in fact. That's what our review is for. In Monetization Report, we're here to look at your purchase options, DLC prices, microtransactions, and more, as well as how they affect the game itself so you know what you're getting into.
Black Ops 4 is available for PS4, Xbox One, and PC.
PurchaseAs with any premium AAA game, Black Ops 4 will run you $60 for the standard edition across all platforms. There are also a handful of other versions you can get if you’re looking to get a little more bang for your buck.
The next step up from this is the Digital Deluxe Edition, which will cost $100. This includes 2,400 CoD points (the in-game currency used to purchase microtransactions), Digital Deluxe and Digital Edition bonus items, and the Black Ops Pass.
You could instead get the Enhanced version of the Digital Deluxe Edition, which offers you everything in the Digital Deluxe but you get 8,500 CoD points instead of 2,400.
The Pro Edition is only available at GameStop and costs $120. This version includes the Black Ops Pass, a Steelbook, a Pop Socket, 10 Specialist Patches, 3 Zombies Inspired Collectible Art Cards, 1,100 Call of Duty Points, and a Call of Duty Endowment (C.O.D.E.) Calling Card.
Finally, there is the most expensive edition of the game. The Mystery Box Edition will set you back $200 and will bag you this spooky box that makes sounds and lights up.
You get everything you see in the image, including Zombies heroes Figpins, a 1,000-piece puzzle, a comic book, lithographs for each Zombies stage, a Popsocket, a Steelbook, Specialist icon patches, the Black Ops Pass, as well as "additional bonus content."
Season PassThe Black Ops Pass is this year’s Season Pass, but the way Activision is rolling it out is a little different this year. The traditional Call of Duty model allowed you to buy either the Season Pass for $49.99 or the individual DLC packs for $14.99 each. With Black Ops 4, however, the only way to access the DLC is to purchase the Black Ops Pass. You won’t be able to purchase the DLC individually. It's all or nothing this time.
The Black Ops Pass includes a “Classified” Zombies Experience available at launch, 4 Zombies Experiences, 12 multiplayer maps, and 4 exclusive Blackout characters. The characters in the Blackout beta were purely cosmetic. They have yet to show any characters that offer gameplay differences, but only time will tell whether they plan on doing any.
The Black Ops Pass will also give you bonus access to the Supply Stream system, which is the new tiered season system of unlocks similar to the likes of Fortnite and Rocket League. The Supply Stream will allow you to earn the "newest Uniforms, Weapon Variants and Emotes”. If you have the Black Ops pass, you'll skip 10 tiers every season, meaning you'll get access to the first 10 items as soon as a new season begins.
Supply StreamThe Supply Stream tiered progression found in the Black Market is now available on all systems. This provides players with 200 tiers of unlocks to earn through playing (they're tied to playtime, not performance). These tiers will reset every season, with each season lasting 52 days.
The grind was pretty slow when it first launched. Treyarch has since increased the rate at which players will progress through tiers, but it's still pretty slow.
At its original rate, players estimated it would take 400 hours to unlock everything. Treyarch has tweaked the numbers to make the requirements a bit less brutal, but the progression is still slow and sluggish.
There's no way to increase the speed at which you unlock stuff unless you're willing to purchase Tier skips. It's a pretty unrewarding system, requiring you put a lot of time into the game to get anything back.
To complement the Supply Stream, players can purchase Special Orders to earn multiple items per tier. These are only available through CoD points and will give you access to a set of tiers, depending on which you purchase. However, purchasing these Special Orders will require you to complete challenges before unlocking your bonus items. Unlike WWII, these challenges are not time-limited, but you can only work towards one at once.
Seasonal events will add an extra layer of unlocks to the Supply Stream, meaning that you could potentially be earning a maximum of three items per tier.
Spliced into the Black Market tier progression system are Reserves, Black Ops 4's version of supply drops. There's currently no way to purchase these with real money, but you can buy them indirectly by purchasing tier skips. The game doesn't tell you what you'll get from them, either. All it tells you is you get a single random item.
It's worth highlighting that these are purely cosmetic items. We're talking sprays, tags, emotes, weapon skins, and outfits.
Blackjack's ShopFinally, there's Blackjack's shop. The first in-game direct purchase system since Advanced Warfare. Gear in the Blackjack’s shop is purely cosmetic and can be bought with CoD Points. It'll feature new Specialist Gear Sets, Emote Sets, Tags, and more to come. The store will be updated weekly.
Although this marks a new way for players to get directly what they want to use in-game, not all items in the Contraband Streams and Special Event Streams will be in the shop — the shop has its own set of unique items coming.
Prices range from 100 CoD points for a tag to 600 for an outfit. There are also bundles with outfits, tags, and emotes for 900.
The Blackjack's shop is currently only available on PS4. It becomes available for PC and Xbox One November 20.
MicrotransactionsCall of Duty points (or, CoD points) have been the premium currency for the past several Call of Duty games and Black Ops 4 is no different. Their purpose is a little different this time around, however.
CoD points allow you to purchase Special Orders (see above) and unique items from Blackjack's shop. It's important to note that there is no way to earn CoD points. CoD points can only be purchased with real money.
There is also the $4.99 Black Ops 4 Salute Pack add-on available on all platforms. This pack supports the Call of Duty Endowment (CODE) charity and gets you a new character gesture, game tag, sticker, calling card, and emblem.
PricingThe USD pricing for CoD points are as follows:
- 200 points: $1.99
- 500 points: $4.99
- 1,100 points: $9.99
- 2,400 points: $19.99
- 5,000 points: $39.99
- 9,500 points: $74.99
- 13,000 points: $99.99
What do you think about how Black Ops 4 is handling microtransactions? Let us know in the comments below!