Will CoD finally end up on Xbox Game Pass? Here’s the situation

call of duty black ops 6

The long-awaited Xbox press conference finally gave fans new information on Xbox Game Pass and how Activision Blizzard and franchises including Call of Duty might fit into it.

One of the big questions fans have asked since Activision-Blizzard’s acquisition by Microsoft is which franchises will be coming to Xbox’s subscription-based Game Pass service. While the acquisition made several games Xbox first-party titles, including Overwatch 2 and World of Warcraft, the most significant addition to Microsoft’s portfolio was the Call of Duty series. But now several months deep into this era, there has been little word about this.

That all might change soon as the “Xbox Business Update” shed some light on the speculated shutdown of the Xbox brand, as well as Activision Blizzard’s games coming to Xbox’s subscription service. This shed some hints on whether future Call of Duty games will eventually become day-one Game Pass titles.

Are the Call of Duty games coming to Game Pass?

Past Call of Duty titles may be coming to the Xbox Game Pass catalog, but neither Activision-Blizzard nor Microsoft has explicitly stated this.

During the Xbox business update podcast, Xbox’s President Sarah Bond stated, “Activision and Blizzard games are coming to Game Pass starting with Diablo 4 on March 28.” 

Diablo 4 was released in June 2023, which means it’s coming to Game Pass less than a year after its release. Though Call of Duty and Diablo 4 are very different games, it’s still a very positive development for fans of the FPS franchise as there has been surprisingly slow development regarding incorporating Activision Blizzard into Xbox Game Pass. Diablo 4 being the first to come to Game Pass may be thanks to its poor performance on Steam.

Call of Duty fans are often torn over which game is best and games from previous console generations are still widely beloved. Many would be excited to have games from the Xbox 360 readily available on the service and while that’s not the case yet, there’s no disincentive for this, especially when many of these games aren’t even available on modern competing consoles. Allowing players to play the previous games through Game Pass will prolong their life and make fan-favorite games like Black Ops 2 and the original Modern Warfare easily accessible, potentially increasing the service’s value.

Will Call of Duty Black Ops Gulf War come to Xbox Game Pass?

It’s unknown if Call of Duty Black Ops Gulf War will come to Xbox Game Pass on day one, or at any point.

If past Call of Duty games make their way to Game Pass, there’s hypothetically a chance that Black Ops Gulf War will follow suit at some point. However, it’s unlikely that Xbox Game Pass will have day-one releases for new Call of Duty games, which means that the most optimistic projections would have Black Ops Gulf War coming out in 2025 or later.

There are numerous factors at play for this, first and foremost being that games that sell well typically don’t become available on these services.

There’s a consistent pattern across the industry of top-selling multi-platform releases including Elden Ring and Baldur’s Gate 3 not going to Xbox Game Pass, and and annually released games like Madden and Assassin’s Creed not being available on day one. Alongside this are the contracts Microsoft signed with PlayStation and Nintendo guaranteeing availability on the platforms. Finally, Microsoft is under continued pressure from the FTC regarding its acquisition of Activision Blizzard and a bold move like day-one Xbox Game Pass availability for new Call of Duty games could inspire further legal action.

With the hype for Black Ops Gulf War high thanks to reported big moves like overhauling its campaign and bringing zombies map Tranzit back, the developers will likely want to put a hefty $60 price tag on it for everyone.

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Written by Hannan Mundia

Hannan Mundia has been playing video games since he was just three years old. He loves everything about gaming, from RPGs to first-person shooters. He has sunk countless hours into Bethesda's popular RPGs, but his favorite game remains Nintendo's The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask. His writing has also been featured on Fandom Spot, and you can follow him on Twitter / X at @zombiezomz.

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