players are spending more money in-game than Black Ops 4 players either due to or despite the removal of the season pass and loot boxes.
During Activision’s Q4 earnings call on February 6, 2020, company president Rob Kostich answered a question about how removing the season pass for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare has affected player behaviour and in-game revenue.
Kostich begins by saying it’s important to acknowledge that removing the season pass for Modern Warfare was part of a number of changes Activision made “to create a better overall experience for our player community.” The other changes he mentioned were bringing in cross-play and cross-progression.
He adds that with the launch of Call of Duty: Mobile last year, Activision is treating all Call of Duty players across all platforms as a singular community. “Instead of certain portions of the audience having certain content, we’re focused now on free content for the entire community, to drive engagement with the overall community,” Kostich said.
He then talked about how removing the season pass and loot boxes and replacing those systems with the battle pass in Modern Warfare enabled more transparency to players so they can see what their money goes towards. That, he says, has worked out really well, as evidenced in a “double-digit percentage” growth for in-game spending in Modern Warfare over Black Ops 4.
“We’re looking at engagement and we’re looking at daily average uniques, our engagement is up significantly year over year. That’s really great for us to see so many people playing and enjoying this fantastic game,” Kostich said.
“And then on the player investment side, I’d say fans certainly seem to be appreciating the new system quite a bit. We mentioned the growth year on year, but one other thing I might add is that we’re also seeing an increase in attach rates in-game to the new system. Which I think is a very, very positive sign for it.”
Activision also confirmed during the earnings call that there will be a new Call of Duty game in 2020 but didn’t announce who the developer is yet. Our Call of Duty: Modern Warfare review gave the game an 8.2 and said it has “the best CoD campaign in nearly a decade, thanks to fast pacing and great variety.”
Chris Priestman is a freelancer who writes news for IGN. Follow him on Twitter.