Ever since the news that Microsoft was gearing up to acquire Activision Blizzard, a number of high-profile discussions have emerged surrounding one of Activision's biggest franchises — Call of Duty. PlayStation fans in particular have been kept on the edge of their seats, wondering what the deal means for the future of the franchise on Sony's platforms. As it turns out, Microsoft and Sony have both agreed to a 10-year contract, one that keeps Call of Duty on PlayStation consoles. But where does that leave Xbox players?
One of Microsoft's biggest draws for their console is the Xbox Game Pass library, giving players immediate access to a varied catalog of games. Some titles make their way to Game Pass on day one, others see an arrival further down the line. Given Microsoft's commitment to adding a wide range of Activision titles to the service already (e.g. Overwatch, Diablo), players are keen to learn exactly when Call of Duty will get the same treatment.
Update 25 September 2023: This page has been updated to reflect the latest information reagrding when Call of Duty will arrive on Game Pass.
When Is Call of Duty Coming To Xbox Game Pass?
At the time of writing, neither Activision or Microsoft have given a timeframe for when the Call of Duty titles will make their way to Game Pass. That said, there are a number of indications that the franchise could be on the way to the library.
Game Pass account, @gamepasstracker, posted to X (Twitter) what seems to be hints that past Call of Duty games could be making their way to Xbox Game Pass. In the post, the account noted that when trying to buy Call of Duty: Black Ops II from what is assumed to be the Xbox digital storefront, players will see this message:
"Receive this item for FREE with your gaming subscription! (Game Pass) Checkout and it's yours FOREVER!"
With the Microsoft Activision acquisition set to come to a close later next month, it could be full steam ahead in making a number of Activision titles available on Game Pass.
It's important to note that the message was seemingly spotted in Brazil and has yet to emerge in other regions. It was spotted by user @Tinosaurorex.
An official blog post from Microsoft previously claimed that Call of Duty games would eventually find their way to Game Pass. As directly discussed by Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer, "Game Pass empowers developers to bring more games to more players, not fewer. We intend to make Activision Blizzard’s much-loved library of games – including Overwatch, Diablo and Call of Duty – available in Game Pass and to grow those gaming communities." Though this doesn't give any official release date or window, it does hint towards Call of Duty's addition to Game Pass in the future.
Another, though less-tangible, indication is Activision's recent push to fix the servers of old Call of Duty titles. Games like Modern Warfare 2 (2009) and Black Ops (2010) have been surging in popularity once more, all owing to the fact that they're in a much more playable state. So why now? It's possible that these games are getting some long overdue TLC in orde to get them in better shape for a rollout across Game Pass. Again, there's been no confirmation that this is the case, but it does seem plausible. The playercount across these previous-gen titles certainly proves that demand is high enough.
Will Modern Warfare 3 (2023) Be On Game Pass?
No, Modern Warfare 3 (2023) will not launch on Xbox Game Pass and likely won't arrive on the subscription service for some time. The reason for this, and for why none of the CoD titles are yet to arrive on Game Pass, is largely down to Activision's existing agreement with PlayStation.
During the FTC v. Microsoft court case, it was stated that Call of Duty is not approved to arrive on Xbox Game Pass until 2025 at the earliest. Given Modern Warfare 3's release later this year, we can abandon all hope of the title being a day one Game Pass launch.
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