Head of Xbox and CEO of Microsoft Gaming, Phil Spencer, has reconfirmed Microsoft’s intentions to add swathes of Activision Blizzard games to Game Pass, specifically name dropping Call of Duty, Overwatch, and Diablo.
When the huge $68.7 billion deal was announced earlier this year, Microsoft said it will “offer as many Activision Blizzard games as we can within Xbox Game Pass and PC Game Pass, both new titles and games from Activision Blizzard’s incredible catalogue” after the deal closes. This new blog post penned by Spencer reaffirms this, but actually names some of the publisher’s biggest IPs for the first time.
“Game Pass empowers developers to bring more games to more players, not fewer,” says Spencer in what looks to be a clear response to concerns from various anti-competition bodies around the world that are investigating the acquisition. “ We intend to make Activision Blizzard’s much-loved library of games – including Overwatch, Diablo and Call of Duty – available in Game Pass and to grow those gaming communities.” The wording of this also suggests Activision Blizzard’s entire library could get added to the service.
Call of Duty, a series that in recent years has been more closely aligned with Xbox’s rival platform PlayStation by way of early access benefits or exclusive content, that has been put under the microscope massively in regards to the acquisition.
However, Microsoft has said it would honour any deals Activision Blizzard has with Sony, and would not look to take the series away from other platforms – something Spencer has reaffirmed again in this new post.
“As we’ve said before, we are committed to making the same version of Call of Duty available on PlayStation on the same day the game launches elsewhere,” he says. “We will continue to enable people to play with each other across platforms and across devices.”
Just hours before this blog post was published, the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority revealed it would be pursuing a second phase of investigation into Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard due to concerns it would “harm rivals” and dominate the cloud gaming space.