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Call of Duty could be coming to Xbox Game Pass — Microsoft acquires Activision Blizzard


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Call of Duty is undeniably one of Activision’s most iconic franchises, so of course one of the first questions on everyone’s minds as we heard about Microsoft’s take over of Activision Blizzard is — is Call of Duty coming to Xbox Game Pass?

When Microsoft acquired Bethesda in March 2021, it was announced within the week that 20 of the publisher’s most-popular titles would be made available on Xbox Game Pass. Within two months, another ten games were added, and now some of gaming’s biggest franchises are playable for free with the monthly subscription service, including DOOM, Fallout and The Elder Scrolls. What does this mean now that Microsoft are continuing their total domination of the gaming industry by acquiring Activision Blizzard? Could we see the Call of Duty games added to the game pass within weeks? Being very early on in the deal, it’s hard to say exactly what this means for Xbox gamers, and Microsoft have – understandably – yet to confirm anything. But let’s look at that past takeover of Bethesda and do a bit of dreaming…

Will Call of Duty Vanguard be made available on Xbox Game Pass?

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Being the latest Call of Duty title, having only been released in November 2021, Call of Duty Vanguard will likely be the franchise’s instalment people would most like to see come to the Xbox Game Pass library. While nothing has been confirmed yet, it is likely that we will see Vanguard on Xbox Game Pass at some point, and it wouldn’t be too surprising to see it soon after the deal has been completed. Other Xbox-owned games are often released to Game Pass on their release day, and DOOM Eternal was just a year old when it was added to the Game Pass as part of the Bethesda acquisition. However, it is worth noting that the deal will likely not be complete before the end of 2022, but we could hope to see COD Vanguard on Xbox Game Pass in 2023.

Will all Call of Duty games come to Xbox Game Pass?

Similarly, it is likely that the entire back catalogue of Call of Duty games will be added to Xbox Game Pass at some point. Again, as we have seen with Bethesda, multiple titles from the company’s biggest franchises were piled onto the Game Pass library in one go. And quickly. In theory, we could be looking at the entire Call of Duty back catalogue being added to the Game Pass within weeks of the acquisition completing, i.e. mid-2023.

Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 on Xbox Game Pass day one

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With a new Call of Duty title released every November like clockwork, fans of the hugely popular FPS franchise are expecting a new COD title at the end of 2022. Rumors have been circulating for some time that 2022’s instalment of COD will be a follow up to 2019’s Modern Warfare reboot, and will be released towards the end of 2022 if it is to follow in the footsteps of every COD game before it.

One of the most popular aspects of the Xbox Game Pass is the release of Xbox Game Studio games coming to the library on their day of release, meaning they are – for all intents and purposes – free-to-play on day one for subscribers. Following the likes of Halo Infinite and Forza Horizon 5, the hope is that the next Call of Duty game – after completion of the deal – could be a day one release on the Game Pass as well.

Again, as the deal is not set to complete until 2023, the acquisition is unlikely to affect Call of Duty 2022. However, the deal will likely be long complete by the time a potential 2023 COD title would be released, and therefore we could start to see a shift in Call of Duty’s availability from then.

Could Call of Duty 2022 be an Xbox exclusive?

Now that Call of Duty’s parent company is owned by Microsoft, it could be that future COD titles will become Xbox exclusives. Until now, Call of Duty titles have been released to Xbox and PlayStation, as well as PC, at the same time. Now, with Microsoft acquiring Activision Blizzard, could Call of Duty be pulled from PlayStation and be released as an Xbox exclusive? As with all of this, it remains to be seen. With the acquisition having only just been announced and nowhere near completion, we’ll have to wait for confirmation on what this means for Xbox gamers.


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