Call of Duty: Warzone 2.0 appears to be on the cusp of a major pay-to-win precipice, as new changes to the game and purchasable cosmetics launched in a recent update are seemingly set to shake up how players engage with the action. Online, players are sounding the alarm about new cosmetic skins being introduced to the game which provide major ‘bonus effects’ for players of the game’s popular DMZ mode – an infiltration and escape experience.
While most players remain on a level playing field for DMZ, it appears new premium skins are offering paying players the chance to add special bonuses to their loadout – including boosts to inventory capacity. The newly-released Bomb Squad cosmetic pack is reportedly the source of major player anxiety, per Kotaku, as it automatically adds a medium backpack (and other benefits) to player loadouts when equipped.
In DMZ mode, backpacks determine how much essential gear players can carry, and these can be upgraded during play to aid with skirmishes and general combat readiness. On death, these backpacks reduce in size, and players must start over to rebuild their arsenal and prepare for the next push forward.
Players who own the newly-launched Bomb Squad skin – which costs 1,200 CoD points (or US $10 | AU $15) – gain a backpack size advantage upon reload, immediately lending a boost over other players. Pay for the skin, and you’ll seemingly have a better chance at survival.
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According to allegedly leaked skin bundles shared to Reddit, the situation may become even more dire with the launch of new, more powerful paid skins. A ‘Future Roze’ bundle shared by Reddit user BadFishteeth seemingly gives players the ‘bonus effect’ of gaining a UAV plane for use on the battlefield, giving players the immediate ability to see where other units are on the game’s map.
As Kotaku points out, this ability is already available in the game – but it’s usually a rare drop that must be found by foraging and exploration. Players nabbing a UAV with no effort defeats much of the fun of Warzone 2.0 – and may eventually render the game a mess of pay-to-win bonuses.
DMZ enthusiasts have taken to Reddit and Twitter to share their concerns, and have claimed this pay-to-win path will ‘ruin’ the game for everyone, and reduce any need for skill or finesse in battles. Players will seemingly be able to fork out cash for an easier time, with more wealthy players able to gain the biggest advantages.
At this stage, Activision has yet to comment on the impact of DMZ bonus effects, and the backlash facing Call of Duty: Warzone 2.0. Given the overwhelming negativity around the newly-added paid skins and how they may change the game, we’re likely to hear more about this development shortly.