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Call of Duty: Modern Warfare abandons loot boxes altogether in favor of battle passes

Call of Duty Supply Drops
(Image credit: Activision)

***UPDATE*** Activision has announced that Call of Duty: Modern Warfare's in-game economy will feature a battle pass system instead of loot boxes, and it's expected to release later this year.

In a blog post, Activision clarifies that any content which affects gameplay or balance will be available for free, and that the new battle pass system and in-game store will include "a variety of cosmetic content that does not impact game balance."

Earlier this week, art director Joel Emslie came out on Reddit to clarify the situation surrounding the game's loot boxes, namely that there won't be any in multiplayer at launch. 

"We are definitely NOT working on any kind of supply drop or loot box system." He said. "Also, functional stuff is unlocked through GAMEPLAY. Stay tuned, we're planning to release info this week." 

Original story below:

(Image credit: Activision)

 Despite holding a successful public beta over the weekend and releasing an impressive new story trailer during PlayStation's State of Play live stream, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare has found itself in more hot water recently, after it was revealed that the FPS franchise's Survival Mode would be exclusive to PS4 players for an entire year after launch. 

On top of that, new second-hand reports from YouTuber TheGamingRevolution has stated that Modern Warfare's Supply Drops (the game's own take on loot boxes) wouldn't be relegated to cosmetic items only, but includes game-affecting rewards such as weapons that can be then used in multiplayer. 

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While Activision or Infinity Ward are yet to confirm if Supply Drops will be in the game, TheGamingRevolution has form with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare leaks. In the past, they’ve correctly revealed info about the Gunsmithing system in multiplayer as well as the compass bar replacing the mini-map.

This isn't the only piece of evidence that's pointing towards Call of Duty: Modern Warfare loot boxes being a thing. During the first weekend of the Modern Warfare beta, one player saw a message in the Unlock section of the After Action Report that reads "Lootbox: Common Supply Drop".  

Loot boxes have already caused scandals in the likes of Star Wars Battlefront 2 and Middle-Earth: Shadow of War in the past, but most developers have managed to respond to the backlash with the promise that their microtransactions are cosmetic only, and not "pay to win."

If this report is true, however, Infinity Ward and Activision won't be able to say the same for Modern Warfare, as guns are naturally the major variable in the series' historic PvP, though we'll hold off from passing judgement until we see how the game's reported Supply Drops work for ourselves. 

TheGamingRevolution also suggests that Call of Duty's Salvage system, in which you could previously trade duplicate items received from Supply Drops for in-game currency, has been ditched for Modern Warfare, which hardly eases concern.

The FPS reboot is launching for PC, PS4, and Xbox One on October 25 next month, the same day - incidentally - as Obsidian's Fallout-like RPG The Outer Worlds. Let us know which one you'll be playing in the comments below. 

For more, check out the latest Call of Duty Modern Warfare tips we learnt from the beta, or watch below for a guide to everything else out this week. 

Alex Avard

I'm GamesRadar's Features Writer, which makes me responsible for gracing the internet with as many of my words as possible, including reviews, previews, interviews, and more. Lucky internet!