Call of Duty: Modern Warfare will have a battle pass instead of loot boxes

(Image credit: Activision)

Activision confirmed today that, unlike some previous games in the series, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare will not have loot boxes or a season pass. Instead, it will take the battle pass route, with free and premium streams that will enable players to see and work toward specific in-game content.

New base weapons and "functional attachments" will be earned through gameplay, Activision said in the announcement, while the battle pass and in-game store "will feature a variety of cosmetic content that does not impact game balance." The battle pass will also give players the opportunity to earn COD Points, the in-game currency, through gameplay.

The battle pass system will not be live when Modern Warfare goes live next week, but will instead roll out in conjunction with post-launch live seasons, each with its own themed content. 

"First and foremost, we are all focused on making the Day One experience awesome. Second, it’s important to us that everyone who is playing Modern Warfare has the chance to work their way through the new game and unlock all the rewards that are waiting for you," Activision said, explaining the delay. "We expect to launch this system for Modern Warfare later this year."

Infinity Wart art director Joel Emslie said earlier this week that the studio is not working on a supply drop or loot box system so the announcement isn't entirely surprising, but even so it's nice to have it confirmed, in writing, by Activision. It's a major change to the series, and given the way the anti-loot boxes winds have been blowing over the past couple of years (not to mention the rough ride Activision had with them in Black Ops 4), one that fans of the series may be legitimately excited about, even though details haven't yet been nailed down.

"Understandably there are still questions around how the economy will evolve throughout the post-launch, live seasons. We recognize this will take time to fully demonstrate," Activision said. "Please know we are committed to delivering a fair system guided by the principles we’ve outlined here, and will continue to monitor feedback and player engagement to help us achieve that goal."

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare will be out on October 25.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.