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Evening Standard
Evening Standard
Saqib Shah

Call of Duty games could arrive on Game Pass next year if Microsoft deal closes

Must-have games including Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 and Diablo 4 could land on Xbox Game Pass next year.

In January 2022, Xbox owner Microsoft announced that it was acquiring the company responsible for those games, Activision Blizzard, in a mammoth deal worth about £56 billion. The merger is designed to bolster its Game Pass subscription service - which is already stuffed with over 300 titles - in its ongoing battle for gamers with Sony’s PlayStation system.

With the deal on the cusp of being completed, Activision has confirmed that its games will start appearing on Game Pass next year.

“While we do not have plans to put Modern Warfare III or Diablo IV into Game Pass this year, once the deal closes, we expect to start working with Xbox to bring our titles to more players around the world,” the company said in a post on X (formerly Twitter).

“And we anticipate that we would begin adding games into Game Pass some time in the course of next year.”

Although subscribers may be gutted to miss out on CoD over the Christmas break, they have a lot to look forward to in the new year.

Alongside the new Modern Warfare 3 game, Activision Blizzard owns the following notable franchises: Guitar Hero, Tony Hawk, Skylanders, Crash Bandicoot, Spyro the Dragon, Warcraft, Starcraft, Diablo, Overwatch, Hearthstone, Heroes of the Storm, and Candy Crush.

The UK is currently the only country standing between Microsoft’s Activision acquisition. Late last month, the competition watchdog gave the revised version of the deal preliminary approval after previously blocking it.

The regulator initially said the merger could have adverse effects on the burgeoning cloud gaming market, which allows the public to play video games over the internet.

Under the terms of the latest proposal, submitted in August, Microsoft agreed to offload game streaming rights for Activision Blizzard games to fellow gaming giant Ubisoft.

Last week, The Verge reported that Microsoft would close the long-gestating deal on October 13 with the UK’s blessing. The tech giant previously extended the cutoff date for the acquisition to October 18 amid the regulatory roadblock.

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