Microsoft has announced that “as many Activision Blizzard games” as possible will be joining Xbox Game Pass in the future as Microsoft has acquired Activision Blizzard.
The news, which was revealed in a blog post welcoming the publisher to the Xbox Game Studios family comes alongside the announcement that Xbox Game Pass has hit 25 million subscribers worldwide. While no specific titles were unveiled, this likely means that franchises like Call of Duty, Diablo, Overwatch, and potentially even World of Warcraft are set to give the service a big boost.
This acquisition is unprecedented, not just for the gaming industry, but is worth a staggering $68.7 billion and expected to close in June 2023. It comes after Phil Spencer said that they were re-evaluating their relationship with Activision Blizzard, following multiple reports and lawsuits of workplace misconduct, sexual harassment, and other toxic behaviour from staff and senior members at the company.
As for what this could mean for the future of Xbox Game Pass and franchises like Overwatch and Call of Duty going exclusive to Xbox and PC platforms, it could be a big step forward for the service and Microsoft’s gaming efforts. A further twist comes from Activision owning classic PlayStation and Nintendo franchises like Spyro the Dragon, Crash Bandicoot, and Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater.
In a investor call, Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella said that the addition of Activision games will include both “new games” and those from the “Activision Blizzard catalogue”.
With the deal not closing until June 2023, we won’t see a huge drop of Activision games until then, as most of Bethesda’s titles didn’t arrive until its acquisition was finalised in March 2021. But, until then, we can speculate about which games will be added.