When Microsoft announced that it would be acquiring Activision Blizzard, many an Xbox Game Pass subscriber’s mouth watered. How cool would it be if Call of Duty, one of the biggest franchises in the world, could be played directly from the platform?
Although nothing was said about it for a while, Microsoft has now provided confirmation. The company let it be known that it would love to enhance Xbox Game Pass with Call of Duty, Overwatch and Diablo. But that’s probably going to cause more problems than you think.
Microsoft confirmed: Call of Duty to Xbox Game Pass
Phil Spencer, CEO of Microsoft Gaming, answers questions that many consumers have asked the company in a blog post. The most important, of course, is what exactly the Activision Blizzard acquisition means for the Xbox Game Pass and consoles like the PlayStation. Rightful questions, because decisions made by Microsoft at this point can have gigantic impacts on the entire market.
Although Microsoft plans to bring titles like Call of Duty to the Xbox Game Pass, consumers with other consoles need not worry. Spencer reveals that a large community, even on cross-play, is hugely important for such titles. Therefore, the CEO makes the same promise that the company made before: Call of Duty will appear on the same day on all platforms. No exceptions.
Who needs an Xbox Series anymore? (Image: Samsung)
Still, Spencer is sticking with the idea of bringing the massive franchise to the Xbox Game Pass. This because of the fact that the community around mobile gaming is getting bigger and bigger. To be able to provide for everyone and to make such titles even bigger, it is important that these kinds of games are available through cloud gaming.
More problems than you think
Phil Spencer’s explanation is crystal clear, but on the other hand it also creates doubts. Especially with the Competition and Market Authority (CMA) from the UK. Rightly so, because although consumers with a Sony console are simply provided for, Microsoft makes it impossible for PlayStation to compete fairly in this way.
“The CMA is concerned. Control over such a powerful catalog, especially given Microsoft’s dominant position, can create a detrimental effect among consumers. Sony, Microsoft’s biggest competitor, is not in a position to compete in this case.”
Although Microsoft currently wants to share content like Call of Duty fairly with Sony, that may change in the future. The company theoretically has the power to make a particular title exclusive to the Xbox Game Pass or its own consoles. A monopoly, in other words. In any case, it is the reason why the CMA has strong doubts and therefore it will take some time before the acquisition is completed.
Call of Duty on Xbox Game Pass would be fantastic, but it could cause more problems than you think. Should the acquisition go through and Microsoft follow through with its plans, there is a pretty good chance that we as gamers could be pretty much screwed in the future.