Call of Duty: Is Microsoft Putting all its Eggs in One Basket?

The “fresh loot” could play a big role in the company’s strategy, and perhaps improve something that hasn’t been delivering the goods lately… but it could also hurt franchise sales, so Microsoft could be taking a very risky step.


The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) has reported that Microsoft will make this year’s Call of Duty available on Xbox Game Pass on the day of its release. The game has not yet been unveiled by Microsoft, but rumors are that more time will be devoted to the reveal at a special show on June 9, after the Xbox Games Showcase. According to The Verge, this episode would be released in late October and would be set during the Gulf War in the 1990s. Previous rumors suggested that the full name of the game would be Call of Duty: Black Ops Gulf War.

The Verge recently reported that Microsoft was already considering releasing new episodes of Call of Duty on its subscription service, and one of the moves they would make in return would be to raise the price of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. The WSJ also wasn’t very clear on whether there would be a new subscription tier within Game Pass (there have been rumors of this), or if the subscription price would be bumped up a bit. The price hike is justified, because as we wrote earlier, if they actually put Activision Blizzard’s IP on their service, game sales would be down from what they have been.

And that is why what Microsoft is doing is risky. If Call of Duty: Black Ops Gulf War is on Game Pass, the sales won’t be great, but the subscriber base could increase, which hasn’t happened for Microsoft lately. If Microsoft doesn’t put it on the service, it won’t be keeping its promise that all new games will be on the system by default.

Either way, Microsoft will hurt itself.

Source: Gematsu, Wall Street Journal, The Verge,

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BadSector is a seasoned journalist for more than twenty years. He communicates in English, Hungarian and French. He worked for several gaming magazines - including the Hungarian GameStar, where he worked 8 years as editor. (For our office address, email and phone number check out our impressum)

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