When is Call of Duty coming to Game Pass? Microsoft has now completed its $68.7 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard and taken ownership of a raft of huge gaming properties, not least among them Activision’s Call of Duty series. Microsoft is now theoretically free to add all Activision Blizzard games to its Game Pass subscription service on Xbox and PC. With the release of of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 on Nov. 10 edging ever closer, it’s natural to wonder when Call of Duty games — this latest installment in particular — will hit Game Pass.
When is Call of Duty coming to Game Pass?
Fortunately, we already have a partial answer. Activision Blizzard, moving to get ahead of speculation before the completion of the deal, said on Oct. 9 that Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 and its other big 2023 release, Diablo 4, won’t be added to Game Pass “this year.” But the company does plan to begin adding games to Game Pass in 2024.
“As we continue to work toward regulatory approval of the Microsoft deal, we’ve been getting some questions whether our upcoming and recently launched games will be available via Game Pass,” Activision Blizzard posted on X (formerly known as Twitter).
“While we do not have plans to put Modern Warfare III or Diablo IV into Game Pass this year, once the deal closes, we expect to start working with Xbox to bring our titles to more players around the world. And we anticipate that we would begin adding games into Game Pass sometime in the course of next year.”
Xbox chief Phil Spencer confirmed this timing on the official Xbox podcast on Oct. 17. “The regulatory process took so long […] that we weren’t able to get in and work with Activision Blizzard on that back catalog work. Now that the deal is closed, we’re starting that work, but there is work.” Of Activision Blizzard saying none of its games would arrive on Game Pass before 2024, he said, “I think that’s accurate.”
“I would love it if there was some kind of secret celebration drop that’s coming in the next couple of weeks — there’s not,” Spencer continued. “The fact that we’re not hitting day one with a bunch of games dropping in to Game Pass is a little bit of a downer, but I’m very excited about the future.”
Activision Blizzard’s wording doesn’t categorically state that Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 and Diablo 4 will come to Game Pass in 2024, but it certainly doesn’t rule it out, either.
We can make some educated guesses on roughly when Call of Duty and other Activision Blizzard games will be added to Game Pass, based on this statement, and on how quickly Bethesda games were added to Game Pass after Microsoft’s acquisition of its parent Zenimax Media.
Rumor: Call of Duty Games Could Be Coming to Xbox Game Pass Soon
It looks like Call of Duty games could be coming to Xbox Game Pass at some point in the near future. One of the main reasons why Microsoft has been so aggressive with company acquisitions is to secure content for its Xbox Game Pass subscription service. Once Microsoft’s Activision Blizzard deal goes through, it will suddenly have a ton of games from the company that it can use to bolster Game Pass.
The Call of Duty franchise is one of the biggest gaming franchises of all time, and so it will be a big deal when the games are eventually added to Game Pass. Existing deals with PlayStation mean fans shouldn’t expect brand-new Call of Duty games to come to Game Pass on day one for a couple of years yet, but that doesn’t mean the classic CoD titles can’t come to Game Pass after the deal is closed.
Plans to add classic Call of Duty games to Xbox Game Pass have yet to be announced, but there is evidence to suggest that work is already being done to bring CoD to Microsoft’s subscription service. Various users online have received messages that point to the Call of Duty games being prepped for Game Pass, with older titles like Call of Duty: Ghosts and Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 mentioned specifically. At this point, it’s not a matter of if, but when Call of Duty will come to Xbox Game Pass.
Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard is expected to be finalized in October. It’s possible that a bunch of Activision Blizzard-published games, including the Call of Duty titles, will be added to Xbox Game Pass as soon as the deal closes, but it’s also possible that Microsoft will wait for a later date to add the games. Call of Duty fans and Xbox Game Pass subscribers will simply have to wait for more information on that front.
And while some may not see the value in adding old games to Xbox Game Pass, it’s worth pointing out that the Call of Duty titles are persistently popular, with active multiplayer scenes even a decade after their original release. And not only that, but some of the classic Call of Duty games are still sold at full price, like Black Ops 2, for instance. Obviously brand-new, day one Call of Duty games will mean more for Game Pass in the long run, but the classic CoD games are still sure to make a splash.
Is Call of Duty coming to Xbox Game Pass?
Yes, we expect Call of Duty to arrive on Xbox Game Pass at some point, but we do not expect Modern Warfare 3 to be added to the subscription service at launch.
Now that Microsoft has fully acquired Activision Blizzard (as of October 2023), nothing is stopping Call of Duty from being added to Xbox Game Pass… almost. There are agreements in place already with others such as Sony that prevent Call of Duty from being added until 2024 at the earliest.
Of course, many other games from Activision’s library might arrive beforehand. You don’t spend $69 billion on a company for nothing.
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