June 22, 2024

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Microsoft insists it will not lock Call of Duty Black Ops 6 behind the new Game Pass tier at launch

Microsoft insists it will not lock Call of Duty Black Ops 6 behind the new Game Pass tier at launch

Amid speculation that Microsoft is planning to launch a new, more expensive tier of Game Pass, the company has confirmed that Call of Duty Black Ops 6 will be playable at launch on all current tiers.

This week, Microsoft announced that Call of Duty Black Ops 6 has arrived for day one on Xbox Game Pass. It’s the first Call of Duty game to do so, and comes after Microsoft’s $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard.

Microsoft has faced tough questions about the impact a potential dismantling of Game Pass would have, especially on games that launch on the service’s first day. While Xbox executives have insisted that sales could be boosted by the game’s presence on Game Pass, some publishers remain unconvinced. For example, former Activision president Bobby Kotick was always against the inclusion of Call of Duty on subscription services. Unlike Microsoft, console rival Sony doesn’t release its new exclusives directly into its subscription service.

Speculation is rife that Microsoft is planning to make major changes to Game Pass to accommodate Black Ops 6’s launch directly on the service. Some have wondered if Microsoft is planning to launch a new, more expensive tier of Game Pass exclusively for day one titles, locking the likes of Black Ops 6 behind in the process.

However, a statement was issued to Eurogamer A Microsoft spokesperson ruled this out, at least when Black Ops 6 launches later this year.

“At launch, Call of Duty: Black Ops 6 will be playable on Xbox and PC for Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members and PC Game Pass and Xbox Game Pass for console members,” Microsoft said.

“At launch, Call of Duty: Black Ops 6 will be playable on Xbox and PC for Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members and PC Game Pass and Xbox Game Pass for console members.

It is worth examining what this statement does not say, as much as what it does say. For a start, he does not rule out price increases for any or all of the tiers currently available to subscribers. This statement leaves room for Microsoft to charge more before Black Ops 6 launches, if it feels it’s the right move.

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Likewise, the statement leaves room for Microsoft to make changes to the current tiers while making Black Ops 6 available at launch. Changes include adding advertising, raising prices, or a combination of both.

New Call of Duty games sell for $70, and typically sell around 25 million copies, which amounts to hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue. By launching this year’s Call of Duty directly into Game Pass, Microsoft likely risks cannibalizing those sales. Of course, Activision will also release Call of Duty across Xbox, PlayStation, and PC as a fully purchasable game. But with Game Pass subscriber numbers failing to grow significantly, Microsoft is under pressure to attract new customers. The addition of the main Call of Duty game at launch will undoubtedly help with that.

Microsoft is in the process Laying off 1,900 employees from the gaming business. Earlier this month, the company shocked the video gaming world with its announcement Hi-Fi Rush developer Tango Gameworks and Redfall developer Arkane Austin close. There are fears of further cuts.

Wesley is IGN’s UK news editor. You can find him on Twitter at @wyp100. You can contact Wesley at [email protected] or confidentially at [email protected].