Activision and Sony have received an "anti-consumer" backlash over plans to provide extra class slots, tier skips, weapon XP, and double XP events exclusively to gamers playing Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War (opens in new tab) on Sony's PS4 and PS5 (opens in new tab) consoles.
We revealed yesterday that Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War Prestige is changing to allow for way more leveling (opens in new tab). The changes were explained in a new blog from developer Treyarch and detailed a number of tweaks, including the biggest change from previous Call of Duty games, which sees players automatically earn Prestige. Treyarch says it found that many longtime players would avoid going Prestige because they didn't want to lose access to their hard-earned stuff and have to unlock it all over again.
As more details were released, however, players began to learn more about the PlayStation Party Bonus – which awards players in parties on Sony consoles an extra 25 per cent weapon XP – and the Double XP Bonus, which gives double experience points for a 24-hour period every month just for PlayStation players. Sony players will also get two additional loadout slots, too.
As spotted by Eurogamer (opens in new tab), fans have hit back at the plans, with some stating it is "anti-consumer" and that Sony and Activision "should bow their heads in shame".
"Last year, an exclusive game mode was lame enough, but it was not game-changing," BenjaminWareing wrote on Reddit. (opens in new tab) "It was manageable and a somewhat fair trade-off for cross-platform and all that other stuff.
"Now granting two extra create-a-class slots ONLY for PlayStation players, AND extra tier skips, AND extra weapon XP, AND EXCLUSIVE Double XP events - ALL ONLY FOR PLAYSTATION is crossing the line. There is no trade-off, cross-play is a granted, it's just anti-consumer at this point and if it was a consequence of PlayStation's exclusivity deal with Activision, they should bow their heads in shame.
"This is gross and is another stepping stone along the way towards complete player base disenfranchising. This is another stepping stone along the way to losing players to non-predatory alternative games."
"This has gone beyond console exclusivity," added TheDavidOfReddit (opens in new tab). "This is Console advantage."
This new levelling system is rolling out to Call of Duty: Warzone and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare starting in December (opens in new tab), so even if you aren't playing Black Ops Cold War you should get ready to get prestigious.