Call Duty: Black Ops now includes free DLC

Specially-marked new Xbox 360 and PS3 copies of Cod Blops containing a free download token for its first map pack are available from today in North America.


With today's launch of the third Call of Duty: Black Ops multiplayer map pack, Annihilation, it now costs almost as much to buy all of the downloadable content as it does to buy the game itself. Fortunately for would-be new players, this is being redressed a little with a new offer.

A download token for the first map pack, First Strike, will be included for free in specially-marked Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 editions of Cod Blops, publisher Activision has announced. They'll be available on store shelves "at all major retailers" across North America from today. This is described as a "limited time offer," but there's no word on when it'll end.

Sorry, PC gamers and those outside North America--you'll still need to buy all your own DLC.

With Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 slated to arrive on November 8, Activision is giving the game another push before it suddenly becomes super-uncool to be seen playing Cod Blops. A straight discount might be nicer for players, but offering free DLC works better for Activision.

Receiving a $15 DLC for free will be interpreted by some customers as a straight $15 savings, even if they wouldn't necessarily buy First Strike. It'll also help introduce players to the map packs, tempting them to buy others. Besides, it's hardly as if Cod Blops needs a discount to continue selling, as it still sits comfortably high in the sales charts.

The third Call of Duty: Black Ops map pack, Annihilation, launches today on Xbox 360 at the price of 1,200 Microsoft Points ($15). There's no word yet on when it'll come to PC and PlayStation 3, but previous map packs have followed roughly a month later.

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