Gamers around the world can't wait for the October 12 release of Star Wars: Battle—sorry, I mean Call of Duty: Black Ops 4! Perhaps my confusion is understandable, however, because Activision is gearing up to push a new DLC model on the Call of Duty fanbase: you have to buy everything, or you get nothing.
4. Why are you changing how DLC works?
We’re redefining the digital content season for Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 by delivering more content with more frequency. In addition to the release of Multiplayer maps, Zombies experiences, and Blackout content, Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 players can also expect in-game content and themed events, creating a robust content season.
9. Will I be able to buy parts of Black Ops Pass content individually, like DLC Map Packs from previous Call of Duty games?
No. The contents included in Black Ops Pass may only be purchased as a bundle.
Black Ops 4 has an RRP of £49.99 for the standard edition of the game, which does not include the DLC, but there's currently no pricing available for the season pass. The season pass for last year's Call of Duty: World War II cost £39.99 so you'd expect something similar here.
There is already a lot of frothing about this from players, though who knows whether that will translate into action. Activision's argument is not entirely without merit, it has to be said: the days when DLC meant simply a discrete pack of four maps and a few guns are over. Players, and particularly with a game like Call of Duty, expect constant updates and content additions. So Activision's gone for the 'all or nothing' model, the most unfortunate aspect of which is that it'll split the playerbase down the middle permanently.
Season passes are nothing new, but the idea you can't just dip in and out of the DLC is irritating. Call of Duty is a game I play occasionally rather than constantly, checking in every few months. I do buy DLCs for it, occasionally, but I'm not so obsessed with it as to pay for a full season pass upfront.
The other angle one could take is that, if Call of Duty is going to have DLC - and it's not going away anytime soon - then isn't it better just to pay for the lot in one whack? There is an argument that it allows the developer to focus on what's important, rather than a more granular monetisation model that might have a more detrimental effect on the experience. Hey, call me devil's advocate, and by all means break out the Bobby Kotick memes.