As the ink dries on Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard, Xbox Series X/S enthusiasts have eagerly anticipated the arrival of titles like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II and Diablo IV on Game Pass.
However, Phil Spencer, CEO of Microsoft Gaming, recently extinguished the excitement by confirming that no games from Activision Blizzard’s catalog will be joining Game Pass in 2023.
The anticipation surrounding potential surprise additions to Game Pass surged after rumors, unverified and un-sourced, began circulating, suggesting that Microsoft might plan an unexpected shadow drop of Activision Blizzard games on Game Pass to commemorate the deal’s completion.
While the official Activision Blizzard Twitter account recently stated it had “no plans” to bring its games to the subscription service before the end of the year, some fans still clung to hope that a title or two from the back catalog might emerge before 2024.
In a recent interview on the Official Xbox Podcast, Phil Spencer addressed these expectations and dispelled the notion of any imminent surprise additions. He revealed that the lengthy and uncertain regulatory process leading up to the deal’s closure prevented Microsoft from collaborating with Activision Blizzard on incorporating their back catalog into Game Pass. Spencer expressed his desire for a celebratory drop but emphasized that it wasn’t in the cards for the next couple of weeks.
This situation contrasts with Microsoft’s acquisition of ZeniMax for $7.5 billion, in which titles from Bethesda Game Studios, including Fallout 3 and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, were swiftly integrated into Game Pass. Spencer expressed his disappointment that fans would have to wait longer in the case of Activision Blizzard.
During the interview, Spencer also confirmed that Call of Duty will continue to strive for 100 percent parity between the Xbox Series X/S versions and those on other platforms. This means no exclusive skins or special content deals, unlike recent agreements on PlayStation 5.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III, set to launch on November 10, will feature a Lockpick Operator DLC pack exclusively available on Sony’s console, a holdover from Activision’s pre-existing deal with the PS5 maker prior to the acquisition.