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Report: Xbox planning to make Call of Duty a core part of Game Pass

After a lot of debate about sales and subscriptions, the shooter is arriving on Game Pass.

Danielle Riendeau, Editor-in-Chief

May 17, 2024

2 Min Read
Xbox series S and series X consoles against a green backdrop
via Xbox

Call of Duty is coming to Game Pass after all, according to a new report by The Wall Street Journal (spotted via Kotaku). That's brand new for the series, which was part of Microsoft's major acquisition of Activision Blizzard last year.

Microsoft was reportedly planning to reveal the news at its June showcase, but the cat is now out of the bag. There are no details available yet whether the games will only be available on certain tiers of Game Pass, or whether the price of the service could increase again, after a hike in July of last year.

It's also unclear what, exactly, caused the decision at this time, as the question has been high on the minds of Microsoft leadership for quite some time. Reporting at the Verge claimed there was uncertainty at Microsoft about putting the shooter on the service. It's such a financial boon that some reportedly worried it was counter-intuitive to do so. There is some credible evidence that Game Pass eats into game sales, lending credence to those fears.

Did Diablo set the tone for Call of Duty on Game Pass?

There is perhaps some precedent here with Diablo IV, which arrived on Game Pass in March. "Last month we added our first Activision Blizzard title, Diablo IV, to our Game Pass service. Subscribers played over 10 million hours within the first 10 days, making it one of our biggest first party Game Pass launches ever," Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said in an April earnings call.

The good news for some studios comes with bad news for others. Just last week, Microsoft announced major cuts at its Zenimax branch, including the closure of Arkane Austin and Tango Gameworks. With even more pressure on the series to succeed, it seems Microsoft is placing a bigger bet on Call of Duty and Game Pass simultaneously here.

About the Author(s)

Danielle Riendeau

Editor-in-Chief, GameDeveloper.com

Danielle is the editor-in-chief of Game Developer, with previous editorial posts at Fanbyte, VICE, and Polygon. She’s also a lecturer in game design at the Berklee College of Music, and a hobbyist game developer in her spare time.

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