Call of Duty: Black Ops 6 represents Xbox's ongoing investment in leveraging Activision's games to enhance the Game Pass offering

Call of Duty: Black Ops 6

Original story, May 29, 2024: Microsoft has officially announced that the upcoming Call of Duty: Black Ops 6 will be available on Xbox Game Pass at the same time it launches in stores.

According to a recent post on Xbox Wire, players can pre-install the game in anticipation of its release later this year. The official unveiling is set for June 9 during the Xbox Games Showcase, part of the Summer Game Fest.

Reports from earlier this month hinted at this simultaneous release, and Tom Warren of The Verge noted yesterday that the Game Pass app had inadvertently confirmed the news ahead of the formal announcement.

After acquiring Activision last year, Microsoft has been progressively adding its titles to Game Pass, counting on these inclusions to enhance the subscription service's appeal. Diablo 4, introduced to Game Pass in March, recorded ten million gameplay hours within ten days, making it a significant first-party release since Game Pass began in 2017.

Call of Duty: Black Ops 6 will be the first Activision Blizzard game to debut on Game Pass the same day it releases. Microsoft has maintained this practice with all its internally developed titles since Game Pass was introduced.

The addition of Call of Duty to Game Pass has sparked mixed reactions among developers. Jörg Tittel, known for directing The Last Worker, expressed concerns that easy access to high-profile games like Call of Duty could deter players from exploring indie titles. On the other hand, Mike Rose, founder of No More Robots, argued that it might increase the visibility of indie games on the platform.

During the regulatory review of Microsoft's Activision acquisition, apprehensions were raised that Microsoft might restrict Call of Duty to Game Pass, excluding other platforms to boost its service's growth.

To address these concerns, Microsoft has entered into a ten-year agreement with Sony and a similar pact with Nintendo to ensure Call of Duty remains available on PlayStation and Nintendo platforms.

Update, May 31, 2025: Microsoft confirmed to Eurogamer that Call of Duty: Black Ops 6 will be accessible to all Xbox Game Pass members, irrespective of the subscription tier.

"Upon its release, Call of Duty: Black Ops 6 will be available on Xbox and PC for all tiers, including Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, PC Game Pass, and Xbox Game Pass for Console," stated a company spokesperson.

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