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Call Of Duty Helped Itself By Axing Loot Boxes

Call of Duty players have had serious beef with the franchise's use of loot boxes these past few years. For many entries, the series was almost shameless in the way it trapped important items behind a wad of cash and a random number generator. This year, however, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare ditched the loot boxes to try a different approach.

All signs point to that change being a very good one.

VG247 reports that, during an earnings call, Activision CEO Bobby Kotick shared some interesting info on how players responded to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, and — more importantly — how much time they spent playing the game.

"When we look at engagement, you look at daily average unique," Kotick said. "Our engagement is up significantly year-over-year, and that's really great for us to see so many people enjoying and playing this fantastic game."

That wasn't the only good news Kotick had to share.

"One other thing I might add is that we're also see an increased attach rates in game to the new system, which I think is a very, very positive sign for us. So I'd say overall, what we expect is a healthier Call of Duty in 2020 versus the previous year."

Let Call of Duty's grand experiment serve as a lesson for all other games. If you remove a thing players don't like, they'll play more. Who knew?

We're seeing a pattern

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare isn't the only title to rethink the whole loot box idea. A few other developers have concluded that paid randomized prize drops are more trouble than they're worth.

Like Psyonix, the team behind Rocket League.

For years, Rocket League made use of a crate system that locked sought-after cosmetics inside a box that could only be opened with a key. That key, unsurprisingly, had to be purchased. It was a different way to go about loot boxes; players actually had the crates in their inventories, and just needed a key to collect their rewards. But the outcome was the same. The loot was random, and players could sink tons of money into keys trying to get the item they wanted.

Rocket League recently moved to the "item shop" approach Call of Duty: Modern Warfare is using now. While Psyonix hasn't been as forthcoming about results as Activision was with Call of Duty, we imagine players prefer the experience of buying what they want a bit more than just paying and praying.

Are there other games still using loot boxes in the present day? There sure are. We wouldn't be surprised, however, if more titles start to drop them as time goes on — at least to see what life is like without them. Should another big story like that come our way, we'll let you know.