A recent update has made the Call of Duty: Warzone community question if the popular battle royale game is turning ‘pay to win’. The way Warzone players unlock the Bruen Mk9 and Grau 5.56 makes absolutely no sense, yet they’re essential for many a meta build. Now, it is virtually impossible to not pay for those guns, because earning them through gameplay is insanely difficult. That is, unless you own Modern Warfare too.
Warzone business model
In our review of Warzone we highlighted the fact that the game’s business model is somewhat shady. As a tie-in with Modern Warfare, you can unlock and customize weapons in that game, and subsequently use them in Warzone. That makes it unquestionably easier for owners of Modern Warfare to level weapons. Mainly because the progression system in combination with Warzone’s inherent randomness makes it hard to focus on a single weapon.
But with the challenges required to unlock the Bruen Mk9 and Grau 5.56, Warzone has exposed it’s greatest weakness. As Frobes’ Paul Tassi points out, those two weapons are arguably some of the best in the game. Yet, to unlock them, you have to literally be the best in the game.
To unlock the former, you need to get 3 LMG kills near smoke in one match, 15 times. This arbitrary task might sound easy for Modern Warfare players. You just bring an LMG and a smoke grenade. Pop it in a choke point and let the unlocking commence. But in Warzone, no one barely even uses smokes. Let alone getting 3 kill near them in a single match, 15 times!
The same goes for the Grau 5.56, which requires you to get 5 kills in one minute, 25 times. Again, Modern Warfare players could argue this organically happens once in a while, no biggy. But in Warzone this is an insane task. Just think about it, you’d need to singlehandedly wipe an entire squad of four, plus another random dude in one minute. And you can’t even choose the weapon at the start of a round; you’d have to find it first…
Pay to win?
It’s clear that the requirements for unlocking those two guns are catered towards the Modern Warfare audience. Therefore, we can conclude that Warzone is effectively locking Bruen Mk9 and Grau 5.56 behind a $60 Modern Warfare paywall. Or, one could always buy specific blueprints in the Store if they pop up. Whatever the case, it’s not fair for free-to-play Warzone players at all.
And yes, Activision needs to make money to support Warzone. But like many free-to-play games have proven over the years, that isn’t a problem at all. Just give players cool cosmetics items to buy, and a revenue stream will generate itself. Just look at Fortnite. Conversely, what you shouldn’t do, is locking some of the best weapons in the game behind impossible challenges.
What do you think? Is Warzone officially pay to win? Let us know in the comments below, or through our bustling Facebook page