Microsoft Is Bringing Activision Blizzard Games To Game Pass

Microsoft Is Bringing Activision Blizzard Games To Game Pass

Alongside news that Microsoft is preparing to acquire Activision Blizzard for $US70 ($97) billion, the Xbox console maker has confirmed that games from the recently troubled Call of Duty and Warcraft publisher will make their way to Xbox Game Pass.

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An exact date for when any of Activision Blizzard’s games will arrive on Microsoft’s Netflix-style subscription service has not been announced, nor do we yet know exactly which games from the publisher’s catalogue will hit Game Pass. However, acquiring Activision Blizzard does mean effectively acquiring franchises such as Call of Duty, Candy Crush, Diablo, Overwatch, and Warcraft. And in its official announcement, Microsoft said it will “offer as many Activision Blizzard games” as possible for PC Game Pass and Xbox Game Pass.

This includes both new titles and “games from Activision Blizzard’s incredible catalogue,” so you can probably expect to see games in the StarCraft and Warcraft series on PC, as well as Call of Duty games across both Xbox consoles and PC. Whether Blizzard’s popular MMO World of Warcraft, which still requires a monthly subscription from players to access all of its content, will get folded into PC Game Pass somehow remains to be seen. Additionally, other Activision Blizzard properties such as Crash Bandicoot, Spyro the Dragon, and Tony Hawk, among many others, could now make their way to Game Pass in some form. In short, the service’s offerings are probably going to expand significantly.

We’ve reached out to both Activision Blizzard and Microsoft for comment on the matter and will update should we hear back from either company.

This massive acquisition, as you can imagine, will have long-term ramifications for the exclusivity of Activision Blizzard games going forward. Think of when Microsoft bought Bethesda for $US7.5 ($10) billion back in September 2020. Xbox head Phil Spencer said at the time that games from the Fallout maker would make their way to other consoles “on a case-by-case basis” before clarifying in March 2021 that some games will remain Xbox exclusive. There are “contractual obligations” that will be adhered to, Spencer said in March, but confirmed that Xbox will be the home for future Bethesda games.

It seems likely that with Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard, the Diablo maker’s games going forward will be console-exclusive to the Xbox ecosystem as well. Many of the publisher’s games are multiplatform at the moment, including Call of Duty: Vanguard and Overwatch, but those currently in development, such as Diablo IV and Overwatch 2, could drop their multiplatform launch in favour of satisfying this brand-new partnership, unless there are already “contractual obligations” in place dictating that those games release across multiple platforms.

Perhaps the clearest indication that future Activision Blizzard games will likely be both exclusive to Xbox and made available on Game Pass is Bethesda’s Starfield. While reportedly never planned as a multiplatform title, there was a misunderstanding during Gamescom 2021 that the highly anticipated sci-fi RPG could make its way to PlayStation consoles in the future. It won’t, however, as Bethesda’s senior vice president of global marketing and communications Pete Hines reiterated in June 2021 that Starfield is 100% an Xbox console exclusive. Sorry, PS5 fans.

Read More: Head Of Microsoft Says He’s ‘Grateful’ For Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick’s ‘Commitment To Real Change’

Elsewhere in the acquisition’s announcement, Microsoft confirmed that Xbox Game Pass has reached “more than 25 million subscribers” to date.

 

Comments

  • I’m not complaining for now (90+% of my gaming is done through Gamepass) but I’m sure im not the only one who thinks the service is too good to be true.

    Great if not but it seems like at some point they’ll either jack the price up 500% or half the industry will collapse.

    This is a savage blow for Sony. They’re starting to look like a puffed up Nintendo with how many (previously) multiplatform titles they’ll be missing. There’ll be a lot of casuals who buy COD every year who’ll decide its better value to buy Gamepass rather than an annual release.

    • The too good to be true part is How do you recover $96 billion dollars when your directing most of your customers to game pass… its either increase subscription pricing, closed ecosystems dark patterns or increased monetisation.

      I think Halo Infinite is an example, not only was it free on gamepass… the multiplayer was free to all users, with a Microtransaction store worth over $1000 dollars in the first month of release when initial blogs years before refuted the ideas of grinding and excessive monetisation.

      We will probably see a lot more XBox IP get heavily ported to mobile.

      • I think they just want you to play Xbox games ON your mobile, as well as all your other devices. There won’t be any ports.

        MS has walked the line on microtransactions pretty well the past 5 years at least.

        It could be horrible, or i could be spending $250 a year (or less) for all my gaming software and having it subsidised by dumbasses who spend thousands a year on colourful helmets.
        The Halo model is working bloody well for me.

  • This is great news for game pass users in the short term. In the long term, I can’t see how Microsoft is going to make money off these acquisitions without very significant price hikes to gamepass and/or a decision to make many of these games multi platform once again to make the extra sales.

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