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Microsoft plans to release next Call of Duty on Xbox Game Pass

The announcement has been scheduled to be made at the annual Microsoft Xbox showcase which will take place on June 9, followed by Microsoft's acquisition of Activision Blizzard in a USD 69 billion deal which was finalized last year.

Written By: Saumya Nigam @snigam04 New Delhi Published on: May 19, 2024 17:58 IST
Call of duty
Image Source : CALL OF DUTY Call of Duty

Microsoft has been reportedly planning to release the upcoming instalment of the ‘Call of Duty’ video game for its Xbox Game Pass subscription service. The new development has been marked as a significant shift from the traditional model of game selling to selling it independently, according to a source who is familiar with the matter.

Announcement at Xbox showcase

The announcement is expected to be made at the annual Xbox showcase of Microsoft which is scheduled for June 9 (2024). The source, who has requested anonymity due to the private nature of the plans has revealed the information. 

Microsoft has yet not responded to requests for comment from Reuters, and the news was first reported by The Wall Street Journal.

Acquisition of activision blizzard

This move has been followed by Microsoft's acquisition of Activision Blizzard in a USD 69 billion deal that was finalized last year (2023). 

Through this buyout, Microsoft has gained control of the ‘Call of Duty’ franchise, which is one of the most successful entertainment properties, having generated over USD 30 billion in lifetime revenue.

Subscription model shift

Historically, Activision has released new editions of ‘Call of Duty’ annually, priced at around USD 70 each. 

Shifting to a subscription model with Game Pass has further represented a major change in strategy. 

Xbox President Sarah Bond has recently confirmed that all first-party Xbox games would be released on Game Pass on their launch day, reinforcing this new direction.

Game Pass subscription

Microsoft's Game Pass subscription service provides access to the games from Xbox and other developers for a monthly fee. 

The Redmond-based company is aggressively expanding this Netflix-style service to challenge the dominance of Sony's PlayStation consoles. 

As of February, Game Pass had 34 million subscribers, up from 25 million in 2022.

Impact on sales and subscriber growth

As per the existing reports, analysts believe that adding the ‘Call of Duty’ to Game Pass which could attract more subscribers due to the franchise's large and loyal fan base. 

However, this strategy might impact the overall sales of the title, which will traditionally generate substantial revenue from independent sales.

Current market performance

‘Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III’ was released in November 2023, and it is the second-best-selling game so far (in 2024), trailing only Sony's "Helldivers II," as per the tracker Circana industry. 

The inclusion of such a popular game on Game Pass is further expected to significantly boost the subscription service's appeal and market presence.

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