Call of Duty is coming to the Game Pass, after all

Call of Duty: Ghosts may not have been a high point for the franchise but it still has plenty of fans.

One interesting notification that sharpshooters recently noticed appeared when trying to download Call of Duty games—more precisely, Treyarch’s 2012 release, Black Ops 2—from the Xbox Store. The message hinted at the alluring possibility of using a subscription to access the same game. As the closing phases of Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard approach, speculation is mounting that the renowned shooter franchise may make a home on Game Pass.

Waves broke across the gaming community as Microsoft announced their astounding agreement to acquire ActivisionBlizzard. The crucial query? Would the venerable Call of Duty franchise ever make it to Microsoft’s subscription service? Although Phil Spencer, the ever-vociferous president of Microsoft Gaming, had hinted earlier that the finer points of game porting would take time to finish, new winds indicate a shift in strategy.

At first, the Competition and Markets Authority had raised concerns about Activision and Sony’s agreement, suggesting that Call of Duty’s transition to Game Pass might be delayed. But earlier this year, a significant agreement between Sony and Microsoft helped turn the tide. With this new deal, PlayStation will continue to receive Call of Duty games for ten years after the merger. Moreover, it’s thought that the agreement permits Sony to keep Call of Duty available on PS Plus for the time being.

This begs the question, was it also part of the agreement for Call of Duty to be available on the Game Pass far sooner than anticipated?

There are other hints scattered over the internet. Seemingly, the same notification doesn’t only show up while trying to download Black Ops 2. After trying to add Infinity Ward‘s 2013 release, Ghosts, without paying anything, fans have encountered a similar pop-up.

The appeal of the Call of Duty series cannot be understated. Its allure has endured throughout time. It consistently brings in billions of dollars in revenue annually, making it a titan in the gaming industry. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 had a historic launch weekend, which solidified the franchise’s position as the best shooter in the business.

The older Call of Duty games remain massively popular over a decade later.

Adding these games—even timeless favorites—to Game Pass is sure to attract a large audience. When you consider that older games like Black Ops 2 are still somewhat expensive, adding them would be like hitting the jackpot for fans of Game Pass.

This would, if nothing else, help quell the detractors who claim that the Game Pass is a model that destroys values. Ultimately, how could a service offer little to nothing if it’s enabling publishers to extract even more money from two-generation titles?

Remember that a lot of Call of Duty enthusiasts view the games from the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 eras as the pinnacle of the series. With the gradual addition of these earlier Call of Duty games to the Game Pass over the next years, Microsoft promises that it won’t have to lock its doors in 2027, despite Phil Spencer’s warning to the contrary.

Microsoft probably intends to make the official announcement as soon as the deal to acquire Activision Blizzard is finalized.

Of course, because of prior agreements, the excitement is centered on the classics, but they nevertheless add value to the series as a whole. Given that Sony owns the rights to games that were released on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and later the Xbox Series S/X and PlayStation 5, the more recent games may have to wait.

Ultimately, though, the general idea still stands: the Call of Duty series has the potential to revolutionize Game Pass.

Leave a Comment