Microsoft’s recent acquisition of Activision, which is the company that owns the intellectual property for the Call of Duty video games, has just been disclosed. The announcement was made shortly after Judge Corley denied the request made by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for a ‘preliminary injunction.’ According to the verdict of the court, the merger will not result in a reduction in the amount of competition in the market; rather, it will result in an increase in the number of customers who have access to games such as Call of Duty, which is owned by Activision.
And now a question arises: if Microsoft has just won against the FTC, will Call of Duty eventually be added to Xbox Game Pass? Well, the short answer would be probably yes.
Phil Spencer, the head of Xbox, has stated his desire to make Call of Duty and other titles published by AVBK more accessible to the general public via the Game Pass. But there’s more than meets the eye. Because of the agreement between Activision AVBK and Sony, Call of Duty cannot be featured in the Xbox Game Pass for a “number of years,” which means it cannot be included until the year 2025. Yes, you read correctly! We have to wait years for that to happen!
And here’s the thing. Even if Microsoft’s victory over the FTC is an advance in the right direction for its potential acquisition of Activision, it’s possible that Call of Duty won’t be included in Xbox Game Pass right now. This is owing to the reason that the CMA in the UK is now preventing the agreement from going through. The CMA has indicated in the past that the deal would be anti-competitive in nature due to the fact that Microsoft, with the huge library of Activision’s intellectual properties (IPs), will have the required capabilities to build a stranglehold in the cloud gaming industry.
So, to repeat ourselves, will Call of Duty be included in the Xbox Game Pass at some point? Putting it another way, the answer is yes, but only if the CMA in the UK gives its blessing to the transaction. Even if the motion is successful, the entire franchise won’t be included in Game Pass until at least 2025, even if it does pass.