Call of Duty: Modern Warfare will not feature a season pass. In a statement, developer Infinity Ward confirmed that the series’ traditional means of bringing post-launch content to players will not be available in this year’s entry.
The developer’s statement reads that “the team is eliminating the traditional season pass, so that they can deliver more free maps and content as well as post-launch events to all players.” Presumably there’ll be some alternative to the system, but no details have been provided just yet.
In one form or another, Call of Duty’s season pass dates back to Call of Duty 2, which released in 2005. Traditionally, the pass has given players access to new map packs, as well as bonus content that might not be available from purchases of individual DLC packages. The pass has previously come under fire from fans, who have accused of splitting the community by not allowing all players to play in the same matchmaking queues. Black Ops 4 caught particular flak due to the fact that DLC was only available via a season pass.
Infinity Ward has made no mention of the system that will replace the season pass. Fortnite-style battle passes have proved increasingly popular over the past few years, but I don’t imagine they would be a perfect fit in this instance.
The decision to abandon the season pass is part of an attempt to “unite the community,” which plans for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare cross-play are also intended to contribute to. Information on both of these systems is pretty scarce for now, but more details are likely to surface over the course of the summer.