The Bullshit Roundup: Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare Remastered Just Got Microtransactions

Usually the Bullshit Roundup consists of several stories of industry sleaze culled from recent headlines, but today we’re focusing on just one. Activision’s little stunt with Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare Remastered deserves a spotlight all its own, because it may be the single biggest liberty taken with fee-to-pay gaming.

The rerelease of Modern Warfare was updated recently to include microtransactions, setting a new garbage precedent in post-sale money-grubbing.

With its December update, the rereleased Infinity Ward classic allows players to directly purchase supply drops in order to acquire cosmetic items. For those preparing an insipid “it’s just cosmetic” defense, you can watch this old Jimquisition episode and forever hold your peace.

The usual weak justifications are in place for this recent move, with news reports already emphasizing how everything can be grinded for in-game by completing challenges or spending Call of Duty Points and Depot Points… whatever those bloody things are. When I last played Modern Warfare, there was none of that fucking bollocks.

By the way, I last played Modern Warfare around eight years ago, because this game is nine years old. It’s a rerelease of a nine-year-old game that quietly smuggled microtransactions into its online mode, and I can’t believe a concept so ludicrous is a real thing. That’s something a parody of the industry would come up with.

It’s one thing to see the sad normalization of fee-to-pay elements within brand new releases, but to witness them shoveled retroactively into an old beloved title from an age before such trash gained traction? Activision has set the bar for “AAA” avarice – a new height for greed and a new low for the games business overall.

Modern Warfare Remastered was already controversial for the shady nature of its release, effectively held to ransom by Infinite WarfareActivision – which normally keeps its head down and lets EA take all the heat – has really pushed the boat out in its desire to milk as much as it can from this remaster.

Most remasters are sold as complete, definitive editions of the original games, packing in all the downloadable content and expansions that may have followed the initial launch. COD4 is paving the way for publishers to triple down – not just make money by selling an old game with updated visuals, but by tacking on DLC and microtransactions too. Should this pay off, I’ve little doubt that other publishers will attempt it themselves.

I guess I should have seen it coming when Gears of War Ultimate Edition had tacked-on pre-order DLC, effectively disproving the claim of being an ultimate anything.

It was a warning sign that old games are just as susceptible to modern skeeze as any fresh release, and with Modern Warfare Remastered “enjoying” F2P economies, cosmetic grinding, and fucking crafting, we’ve got the dismal message that nothing is too sacred, nothing too “ultimate” to avoid violation by unslaked corporate raveners.

The rampant, unchecked greed on display is almost impressive in its audacity. To sneak freemium bullshit into a nine-year-old game that leveraged its own fandom to sell a completely different game is a masterstroke of sliminess, a monument to Bobby Kotick’s notorious lack of shame. It’s also a nostalgic reminder that, while Activision can look positively saintly in comparison to recent publisher excesses, it still knows how to be the biggest vacuum of integrity in the business.

What’s saddest for me is how this will only further normalize fee-to-pay games in general. As companies continue to up the ante in their indulgent greed, previously indefensible schemes become more palatable because they’re “not as bad as they could be.”

Just like Activision usually looks good in comparison to Electronic Arts, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided‘s horseshit moneymaking doesn’t seem so gross when contrasted with Modern Warfare RebastardPersonally, I’ll continue to fight the losing battle in maintaining that none of it’s cool, but I know this latest fuckery will only further aid publishers as they slyly work to make microtransactions a banal occurrence.

Are you fucking kidding me, though? Microtransactions in a remaster of a game almost a decade old.

This industry is fucked up.

Lewis w
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Lewis w

It’s been a while since you last used that picture of the guy with crudely drawn facial features scribbled over him. I’d quite missed it, actually.

Jarskaaja
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Jarskaaja
Just FYI, even though it’s cosmetic-only right now does not mean that they won’t add weapons later. I’ve played (and quite enjoyed) even the latest COD games and they’ve always pulled the same shit. First there’s no microtransactions, then they become cosmetics only, then they add new guns into them. It has happened every single time. With Infinite Warfare they had the MTs in from the start with all the gun stat boosts included because fuck it, they decided to not even care. So as a player of these recent COD games: It won’t stay cosmetic. Activision fucked it up… Read more »
Dokkar
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Dokkar

CAPITALISM IS A PLAGUE

Appretaur
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Appretaur

Even though I would say that there should never be an in-game purchase for a paid game except for gameplay-relevant content created a fair time after the initial launch and that isn’t connected to any competitive or multiplayer element in any way, I might deliberately go and tell Jim “It’s just cosmetic” anyway, the point being that I’d be *expecting* him to send Jim-style retorts and dismissal my way like he’s my performing chimp. *trollface*

Mike Wallace
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Mike Wallace

Fracktivision.

eatmywords
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eatmywords

it’s either fucked up or constantly on the verge of bankruptcy.

Uzuki
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Uzuki

Oh yippy skippy, Activision somehow found the bottom of the barrel, preceded to pull a quantum space and matter disruptor from their asses, and create a new fucked up and twisted reality at the bottom of earlier said barrel.

Like was this the end goal the entire time with MW. Holding it hostage with the latest mediocre version was crap, but as a business choice I could understand, but to remaster it only so you could ADD MICROTRANSACTION TO IT?!

Well fuck you in the ass too, Activision. Fuck you in ass too…

Terriosaurus Hex
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Terriosaurus Hex

Activision: Always Innovating in capitalist greed.

If it makes you feel any better, I have never purchased a single microtransaction ever. In a fee to pay title. Ok, in any title, I am a bit of a tight-arse and a professional [♪SKELETON WARRIORS♫]. But not through choice.

Sapphire Crook
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Sapphire Crook

Spooky precedents this sets:
– It’s okay to retro-fit old games with MT.
– It’s okay to hold games hostage with other, shittier titles to bolster sales.
– It’s okay to do the former two both in tandem.

A BRIGHT FUTURE FOR THE AAA INDUSTRY.

InfamousDS
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InfamousDS

I can’t even… But what about…. No. I’m done. I don’t even like CoD, and this is just too much for me.

Thank God I can escape this mad house we call real life with less shitty games that aren’t just a mound of bullshit masquerading as ice cream.

yumpyump
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yumpyump

I like mt Jim

oshigoroshi
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oshigoroshi
RagnarokNCC
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RagnarokNCC

I’m absolutely POSITIVE this has nothing to do with the fact that IW underperformed. That of the reduced percentage who bought it, even less are actually playing it. And of those playing it, even less are buying into the microtransactions. Their player base voted very loudly for MWR – that includes people such as myself, who are content to pass on IW and wait for Activision to start selling it separately out of desperation/avarice.

bimmyz
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bimmyz

i knew activision was greedy, but damn.

HelixShade
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HelixShade

Guess it wouldn’t be the end of a shitty year without some equally shitty news to pile on. This is pretty repugnant, even by Activision standards.

WhateverYouWantItToBe
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WhateverYouWantItToBe

Wow I did not know about any of this. Will never be picking this up then.

Caleb
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Caleb

Between this game and Gears of War 4’s loot crate/season pass money grubbing, I don’t know who did it worse. It makes me so happy that Titanfall 2 didn’t get sucked into all this.

SavingPrincess
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SavingPrincess

Developers will stop wasting money on developing fee-to-pay content when stupid players stop spending money on it.

Karasu
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Karasu

Oh bloody hell.

Johnny N. Gliddy
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Johnny N. Gliddy

There goes their everything-is-free argument.

goodbyejojo
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goodbyejojo

this is a new low for activision, Good Lord, i think just got nausea and a headache from ingesting this news.

Brendan
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Brendan

Well this doesn’t change much for me as I wasn’t planning to buy the game anyway. However I still find it disgusting when they add microtransactions post-launch. It’s one thing if you buy a game knowing it will contain MT’s, but how the hell are you supposed to avoid this cancer when it can be pumped into any game at any time?

Duncan Parker Newton-Gaines
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Duncan Parker Newton-Gaines

I’m really glad there is a bullshit roundup about this. Though I must say I’m a little surprised it didn’t rile you up enough to make an emergency Jimquisition.

Jamesworkshop
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Jamesworkshop

But hey you can now play as a woman in the multiplayer, if you unlock one through microtransactions.

Spectre197
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Spectre197

ಠ_ಠ

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