'Call of Duty: Modern Warfare' outlines free Season One update before Battle Pass launch

'Call of Duty: Modern Warfare' is changing tactics, partnering free updates with paid Battle Passes.

A sizable free content update is coming to "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare," starting December 3, with an optional paid Battle Pass expected to launch in due course.

At least seven extra maps, three new multiplayer modes, and five co-op experiences are coming to "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare" in a free update, as the game prepares players for a paid Battle Pass containing various unlockable items.

Breaking with "Call of Duty" tradition, the maps and modes are being made available as a free update from December 3, rather than as part of a program of paid add-on content.

In the same way, this Season One content drop arrives across PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC on the same day, rejecting the timed exclusivity deals that have been a franchise hallmark since "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2" in 2010.

(A subset of the co-operative Spec Ops mode, Survival, remains tied to PlayStation 4 until October 2020.)

The bumper free content update increases the perceived value of "Modern Warfare" and arrives at the start of an end-of-year commercial season whose purchasing decisions could affect months or even years of subsequent spending.

"Call of Duty: Modern Warfare," for example, is expected to launch a Battle Pass system alongside Season One, encouraging players to buy into it in order to access 100 tiers of items that unlock as they continue playing.

Such systems have become increasingly widespread thanks to the impact of "Fortnite" and "PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds" ("PUBG") across console, computer, and mobile.

The 2019 edition of "Modern Warfare," which reboots a sub-series that began in 2007, already features the platform-agnostic play of "Fortnite." Players can join the same multiplayer sessions regardless of which console or computer they are using.

At launch, "Modern Warfare" was an immediate success at retail and review, but was criticized for some of the ways it embedded into a contemporary context.

In particular, it was taken to task for integrating the 1990 Gulf War attack on a Iraq-Kuwait highway in a way which moved responsibility away from US-led coalition forces.