Insider sources have revealed that the upcoming Call of Duty title will be available on Game Pass on its release day. This move aligns with Microsoft’s ongoing strategy of offering all first-party games on Game Pass, but there was uncertainty surrounding whether this would extend to Call of Duty following the recent acquisition of Activision for a staggering $69 billion.

The Wall Street Journal, citing “people familiar with the matter,” reported that Microsoft is set to make the official announcement during the upcoming Xbox showcase next month. However, when approached for comment, a Microsoft spokeswoman remained tight-lipped on the matter. Given that Call of Duty consistently ranks among the top-selling games each year, this decision could have significant implications for the gaming industry.

Historically, releasing a first-party game on Game Pass has resulted in a reduction in individual game purchases, as players opt for the subscription service instead. Despite this potential downside, Microsoft appears willing to take the risk with Call of Duty, a franchise with a massive following. This bold move underscores Microsoft’s commitment to driving growth in Game Pass subscriptions, particularly following a period of stagnation.

Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard is viewed as a strategic maneuver to revitalize Game Pass and expand its user base. By incorporating popular titles like Call of Duty into the subscription service, Microsoft aims to attract new subscribers and retain existing ones. The success of this approach has been demonstrated with previous additions such as Diablo 4, which generated significant interest upon joining Game Pass earlier this year.

The stagnant growth of Game Pass subscriptions has had repercussions for Microsoft’s acquired studios, including the recent closures of Arkane Austin and Tango Gameworks. These closures are part of broader cost-cutting measures following the acquisition of Bethesda. To ensure the long-term success of Game Pass, Microsoft needs flagship titles like Call of Duty to drive subscription numbers and sustain growth within the gaming division.

As the gaming industry eagerly anticipates the release of the next Call of Duty title, Microsoft’s decision to include it on Game Pass represents a strategic shift in their subscription-based gaming model. By leveraging popular franchises and exclusive titles, Microsoft aims to strengthen its position in the market and drive continued growth in Game Pass subscriptions. The upcoming Xbox showcase promises to shed more light on this pivotal development in the gaming landscape.

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