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Microtransactions invade Call of Duty

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Activision is getting into the microtransaction game, and it's bringing its most notable franchise along for the ride.

Starting today, Call of Duty: Black Ops II will let players pick up small items such as extra loadout slots and gun personalization packs for prices ranging from $1 to $5.

Activision says the items, which also include new targeting reticules, a custom player Calling Card and the ability to wrap your favorite weapon in bacon (no, really), are completely optional and will not affect gameplay.

Still, the inclusion of these items in a game as big as Call of Duty is a big step for console first-person shooters, which have been very slow to adopt these sorts of in-game purchases. Other game types -- such as RPGs like The Elder Scrolls series -- have toyed with them in the past.

For now, it appears that the only platform that will be supporting the so-called "micro items" is the Xbox 360. That doesn't rule out the PlayStation 3, however. In fact, Activision said the items would be coming to "other platforms" soon, though the company has traditionally introduced new items on Microsoft's platform first. The majority of the game's players are on that platform as well.

"This content contains either personal customizations or nice little luxuries that I’ve seen players request; none of them affect gameplay, but they are small, specific ways to enhance your online experience," wrote Activision community manager Dan Amrich. "At the end of the day, all of these items are completely optional, and were created for players who’ve asked for more customization options," he writes. "If that’s not you, that’s fine; everybody gets Nuketown 2025 for free, so definitely take advantage of that."

Curious what the various personalization packs look like? Amrich has pictures of 'em all up on the OneofSwords Website.

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