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The next Call Of Duty will launch on Game Pass on day one, reports say

No one would be surprised

A screenshot of Captain Price smirking from Call Of Duty Modern Warfare 2019
Image credit: Activision

The next Call Of Duty will arrive on Game Pass on day one, according to anonymous sources. Microsoft's strategy has long involved releasing all their first-party games on Game Pass, but there had been doubt over whether the same would be true of the first Call Of Duty to be released since Microsoft's $69 billion acquisition of publishers Activision.

According to the Wall Street Journal (paywalled), who cite "people familiar with the matter", the plans are due to be announced at the Xbox showcase next month. A Microsoft spokeswoman declined the WSJ's request for comment.

Call Of Duty remains a top seller every year, and even the critically-derided Modern Warfare 3 was the second best-selling game of last year in America. Not bad considering it was released on November 10th.

There's plenty of evidence to suggest that releasing a first-party game on Game Pass reduces the number of people willing to cough up the premium fee, and so there had been doubt that Microsoft would risk slaughtering the golden goose by putting Call Of Duty on their subscription service.

Personally, I'm not surprised. Microsoft's entire Xbox strategy is based around Game Pass, and buying Activision Blizzard seems like a clear effort to get Game Pass subscription numbers growing again after years of stagnation. Microsoft only get the benefits of their investment if Call Of Duty joins Game Pass, just as Diablo 4 did earlier this year.

Those stagnant Game Pass numbers have also been blamed for the recent closure of the beloved Arkane Austin and Tango Gameworks, two studios Microsoft picked up in their earlier acquisition of publisher Bethesda.

Microsoft's Xbox Showcase will take place on June 9th, amid the week of game announcements formerly known as E3.

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