Activision is using its blockbuster Call of Duty first-person shooter franchise to test the waters for microtransactions on Xbox 360.
It's a notable move, as game consoles have been slow to adopt games-as-a-service models that have made major strides on PC and mobile platforms. This little experiment could inform the publisher just how a core console game audience will react to microtransactions.
A blog post from Activision community manager Dan Amrich explained that the company is releasing the Call of Duty: Black Ops II map "Nuketown 2025" for free (it was previously only available as a pre-order bonus) on March 13, alongside "Micro Items" such as gun personalization packs, extra loadout slots, more media storage for theater mode and a "Nuketown Zombies" level.
Amrich said all the items for sale -- which so far range from $1-$5 -- are completely optional and are only for convenience and personalization (such as the "Bacon Personalization Pack," which wraps your weapon in your favorite cured pig meat).
Amrich didn't mention other platforms that would be adopting Micro Items.