After a lengthy legal process, Microsoft has finally closed the deal to buy Call of Duty publisher Activision Blizzard and that means big things for Xbox, Game Pass, PlayStation, Nintendo, Steam, and gaming as a whole.
Microsoft made the biggest acquisition in gaming history after purchasing Activision Blizzard for $69 billion. This move brings legendary franchises like Overwatch, Diablo, and Warcraft under the Xbox umbrella. Xbox fans are wondering if Call of Duty is going to pop up on Game Pass in the near future, while PC and PlayStation gamers are wondering when the franchise will go exclusive.
Fans don’t have to worry too much. The future of Call of Duty on every platform is almost written in stone.
Is Call of Duty coming to Xbox Game Pass?
Call of Duty will eventually reach Xbox Game Pass and could very well be there in 2024.
The Activision Blizzard deal is broad in scope and Microsoft is juggling many balls with the merger now closed. Microsoft wanted Activision Blizzard to shore up its offering of Xbox-exclusive titles, particularly to incentivize Game Pass subscriptions, and Call of Duty is an enormous prize for the company.
Fans shouldn’t expect the latest Call of Duty to appear on Game Pass immediately, especially in three days like Bethesda titles. That said, Xbox has made it completely clear that the plan is for Call of Duty to end up on Game Pass.
“Today we start the work to bring beloved Activision, Blizzard, and King franchises to Game Pass and other platforms,” Xbox head Phil Spencer said when welcoming Activision Blizzard into the fold.
Activision Blizzard previously stated that Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 will not be on Xbox Game Pass in 2023, nor will Diablo 4. Microsoft hasn’t altered that statement after the acquisition yet but the plan is clearly to bring the games to the subscription service.
“We’ll share more about when you can expect to play in the coming months. We know you’re excited – and we are too,” said Spencer.
As for when, that’s unknown. Call of Duty could land on the service in 2024, potentially with Modern Warfare 3. It could also make its debut with 2024’s Black Ops 4 or it could be off further in the future.
Will Call of Duty be an Xbox exclusive with Microsoft acquiring Activision Blizzard?
Call of Duty will not be an Xbox exclusive for a long while.
After a bitter battle, Sony has agreed to a 10-year Call of Duty deal with Microsoft that will keep games in the franchise coming to PlayStation. The lucrative franchise will remain on Sony’s consoles for at least a decade.
Microsoft is also set to release Call of Duty games on Nintendo platforms for the next 10 years. Activision leaked estimated specifications for the Nintendo Switch 2, so there is a chance fans might see modern Call of Duty games on the next console.
Microsoft is committed to bringing their games to PC as well. Most Xbox exclusives are also available on PC via Game Pass and Steam, and Call of Duty will likely remain there moving forward. Xbox Game Pass offers a large selection of titles to PC gamers and Microsoft-published games also make their way to other storefronts. Forza Motorsport, a recently released Xbox console-exclusive title, is available on Steam.