A business report from Super Data revealed the staggering amount of money that Call of Duty Modern Warfare made just from Season 1 microtransactions in December alone, potentially indicating that the Battle Pass model is here to stay.
The Battle Pass has made its mark on all of the popular games that dominate sites like Twitch, YouTube, and even this site. Games like Apex Legends, Fortnite, and now CSGO and Call of Duty have embraced the tiered rewards system as an alternative to DLC and loot boxes.
While games like Apex and Counter-Strike still utilize loot boxes, titles such as Fortnite and Modern Warfare have completely abandoned the once-referred-to-as “surprise mechanics.”
Call of Duty is newer to embracing this model compared to some of the other games, but if the first set sales numbers are any indicator, the Battle Pass isn’t going away any time soon.
According to Super Data, a Nielsen company that reports on the games market, Modern Warfare was the top-grossing in December on console and number seven on PC. In that month, players spent a massive $78.7 million on in-game content, whether it was buying the pass itself, levels for the pass, or in-game currency to spend on bundles.
On console, it beat out several lucrative titles that rake in money from in-game spending, like FIFA 20, Fortnite, and Grand Theft Auto V. For reference, Black Ops 4 earned $93 million from in-game spending in its entire first quarter, compared to the $78.7 million figure from just one month of Modern Warfare.
The report comes out just a day before Call of Duty League officially launches as the flagship for competitive Call of Duty, and the developers originally announced that team skins and items would be coming to the in-game market before information regarding CDL team items was deleted from the website.
Apart from the Battle Pass market being successful financially, it has also struck a chord with the players, who regard it as a superior system for earning cosmetic items than the previous ones.
Loot boxes and season passes were universally panned by the CoD player-base over the past several titles. Fans responded with anger when a leak originally reported that Modern Warfare would include the infamous supply drops, which turned out not to be the case.
Activision were careful with what they put behind a paywall, as most of the post-launch content so far has been available for free to players on all three platforms. For example, the things in the Battle Pass that provide affect gameplay, such as the two new weapons, are both free to unlock.
The currently-ongoing Season 1 will be extended all the way until February 11, to make room for all the new content that is still set to be released. Season 2 will feature its own Battle Pass, so Activision stand to make even more money come next month.