Microsoft plans to add Call of Duty, Overwatch, and Diablo to its Game Pass subscription service.
That comes from Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer, who confirms the much assumed news in a broader blog post (opens in new tab) discussing the company’s stance on the Activision Blizzard acquisition.
“While we love consoles, we recognise that they are not the only way that people play games,” Spencer says. “Today, the largest and fastest-growing segment of gaming is mobile platforms. To reach the billions of players where they are and no matter what device they play on, we need to embrace choice. Giving players choice in how they play their games makes gaming more accessible and leads to larger, more vibrant communities of players. Choice is equally important to developers. Developers benefit from having a diversity of distribution and business models for their games. Choice unlocks opportunities for innovation and enables the industry to grow.”
While part of Microsoft’s plan to extend choice to players is through cloud game streaming technology for mobile, the other half relates to the Game Pass subscription model. As such, the goal is to include the trio of Activision Blizzard series in the service to “grow those gaming communities” as they’d be more accessible.
Spencer also reiterates that Xbox is “committed to making the same version of Call of Duty available on PlayStation on the same day the game launches elsewhere”, which would include Game Pass in this case.
Spencer’s blog post follows an announcement (opens in new tab) from a UK competition watchdog that Microsoft’s Activision Blizzard deal could lead to competition concerns, namely for Sony. The companies now have five days to submit proposals to alleviate those concerns. Otherwise, a second phase of the investigation will commence.
Saudi Arabia is the first country to approve Microsoft’s Activision Blizzard acquisition deal, though the UK probably won’t be the second – yet.