Microsoft will put Call of Duty 2024 on Xbox Game Pass, reveal planned for Games Showcase

 Call Of Duty Black Ops Cold War Screenshot.
Call Of Duty Black Ops Cold War Screenshot.

What you need to know

  • A new report that Windows Central can corroborate reveals that the next Call of Duty title — part of one of the biggest gaming franchises in the world — is headed to Xbox Game Pass.

  • Microsoft, which acquired Call of Duty publisher Activision Blizzard in 2023, is planning to add the series' upcoming 2024 game to Game Pass after much internal debate.

  • The firm is expected to announce the news next month during what's expected to be a separate Call of Duty show held after its Xbox Games Showcase on June 9.

  • Windows Central previously revealed that Call of Duty 2024 will be another entry in the Black Ops line, and will take place during the Gulf War in the early 1990s.

Microsoft — which completed its highly contested $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard in October — has decided to add the publisher's next Call of Duty release in 2024 into its all-you-can-eat gaming subscription service Xbox Game Pass. A The Wall Street Journal report that Windows Central can corroborate notes that Microsoft is expected to announce this officially during 2024 Xbox Games Showcase next month; the news will likely be revealed during what's expected to be a Call of Duty-focused event held after the main show.

A previous report suggested Microsoft has been internally discussing whether or not Call of Duty should be added to Xbox Game Pass, with some worried that the revenue driven by sales of the globally popular first-person shooter would be diminished by Game Pass access. Call of Duty titles, much like many other "AAA" game releases in recent years, usually sell for $69.99, and have historically always sold exceptionally well.

Presumably, Call of Duty on Game Pass will mean that users on Xbox Series X|S consoles will be able to play it with a $10/month Xbox Game Pass membership, while PC players will get access to the game through the Microsoft Store with an identically priced PC Game Pass subscription. Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, a $15/month advanced tier of the service, will allow subscribers to play the game on both platforms. Availability on Xbox Cloud Gaming is possible, but Microsoft would have to make a deal with Ubisoft since it transferred streaming rights to the publisher to appease CMA regulators.

Call of Duty Black Ops
Call of Duty Black Ops

The choice to bring a new Call of Duty game to Game Pass is a landmark decision, but at the moment, it's unclear if Microsoft plans to add past titles to the service as well. The addition of future releases to Game Pass may hinge on how successful this one ends up being, though Xbox leadership may have details to share about its Call of Duty strategy next month.

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We also don't know if Xbox Game Pass subscribers will enjoy a discount on full purchases of the next Call of Duty, as Microsoft offers price reductions like this for some, but not all, additions to the service. Another unknown is whether or not Microsoft will raise the price of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate again after doing so last year — the aforementioned report suggested the company has considered it recently, and may ultimately do so if it goes through with its plan to add one of the biggest gaming properties in the world to the service.

Microsoft's planned Xbox Games Showcase is scheduled for June 9, and is expected to show off multiple upcoming games currently in the works at Xbox Game Studios. This includes the next Call of Duty title — an entry in the Black Ops line set during the Gulf War in the 1990s — as well as other high-profile titles like Avowed and Indiana Jones and the Great Circle.

Analysis: Wow, it's actually happening

Xbox Game Pass sign
Xbox Game Pass sign

Everyone's been wondering whether Microsoft would actually bring Call of Duty to Xbox Game Pass or not ever since the firm originally announced its plan to acquire Activision Blizzard in 2022, but two years later and over six months after the deal's completion, we finally have an answer.

Undoubtedly, this decision is being made carefully and with great consideration of its pros and cons. Putting one of the most popular gaming IPs in history on Game Pass will certainly boost the service's growth significantly, but the number of players who fully purchase the game will surely decrease as a result. Ultimately, I expect Microsoft has determined that the long-term benefit to its Game Pass business outweighs the drawback of lost revenue.

We're sure to learn more about Microsoft's plans for Call of Duty in the coming weeks and months. Personally, I expect to see older games in the series come to Xbox Game Pass as well, though I think the likelihood of future titles releasing on the service will be determined by how the upcoming Black Ops game performs.