Will Call Of Duty Join Xbox Game Pass? 'Internal Debates' At Microsoft, Potential Price Hike: Report

Zinger Key Points
  • Microsoft ponders adding Call of Duty to Game Pass while considering a price hike, sparking internal debates.
  • Uncertainty looms over Xbox's gaming strategy despite strong earnings, largely driven by Activision Blizzard.

Following Microsoft Corp‘s MSFT acquisition of Activision Blizzard, there was speculation about whether the tech giant would continue releasing first-party games such as Call of Duty on Xbox Game Pass simultaneously with official release dates.

Tom Warren from The Verge reported Microsoft was internally discussing the possibility of adding newer Call of Duty titles to Game Pass for some time.

See Also: Microsoft’s Xbox Closes 4 Video Game Studios In Bethesda Restructure

“Microsoft has ‘had internal debates’ about whether it wants to add newer Call of Duty installments to the gaming subscription service,” he said.

Opponents within Xbox argued such a move could potentially undermine the franchise’s revenue, a concern shared by both Activision Blizzard and Microsoft.

Warren also mentioned that Microsoft was considering a price increase for the Ultimate tier of Xbox Game Pass.

Furthermore, Warren noted a growing sense of uncertainty surrounding Microsoft’s gaming direction. Despite aiming for a more PC-oriented future for Xbox, the company grappled with declining Game Pass subscriptions, sluggish console sales, and delays in game releases.

The profitability of the Call of Duty franchise is undeniable. In 2022, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II became the fastest game in the series to surpass $1 billion in sales. Additionally, court documents from the FTC vs. Microsoft trial revealed Call of Duty generated over $800 million on PlayStation platforms in the U.S. in 2021.

Amidst these discussions, Microsoft recently announced shutting down four Bethesda Studios, including Tango Gameworks and Arkane Austin.

“Xbox employees are now bracing for what's next, as it seems unlikely that we've seen the last of Microsoft's gaming layoffs and cutbacks. There are whispers among employees that core Xbox Game Studios are set for cutbacks next,” Warren said.

While Microsoft’s recent earnings report showed a 62% increase in Xbox’s content and services category, largely attributed to Activision Blizzard, questions remain about the future direction of Game Pass.

Read Next: Microsoft Scraps Redfall DLC And Offline Mode, Ends Game Development

Photos: Shutterstock.

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Posted In: GamingNewsActivision BlizzardCall of DutyConsumer Techgamingvideo gamesxboxXbox Game Pass
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