Xbox Acquiring Activision is Going to Be Huge for Classic Call of Duty Games and Xbox Game Pass

Earlier this year, Microsoft announced its intention to acquire Activision Blizzard in what will amount to the largest acquisition in the history of the video game industry – assuming it goes through. There are still some hurdles that need to be cleared before Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard is approved, but if it goes through as planned, Microsoft will find itself in charge of one of the industry’s biggest blockbuster franchises: call of duty.


call of duty is consistently the top-selling game each year with very few exceptions. Even when the franchise’s overall sales are down, like what happened with Call of Duty: Vanguard, it still stands head and shoulders above over titles on the market. The chance to control the call of duty brand is likely a big reason why Microsoft made the move to acquire Activision Blizzard, besides the flood of content that the purchase will provide the Xbox Game Pass subscription service.

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When Microsoft acquired Bethesda, it made it clear that part of the reason was so it could secure content for Xbox Game Pass through the company’s older games as well as its future titles which could then become day one releases. One has to imagine that the same logic applies to Microsoft’s purchase of Activision, which means that call of duty fans will likely have a lot of reasons to sign up for Xbox Game Pass when the deal goes through.

Classic Call of Duty Games on Xbox Game Pass

As it so happens, nearly every main series call of duty game is playable on the latest Xbox consoles thanks to Xbox’s backward compatibility program. This includes the very first call of duty game that released for Xbox 360, the critically-acclaimed call of duty 2all the way to Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, which also has a native Xbox One release. When Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision is complete, it’s highly likely that a flood of classic call of duty games will make their way to Xbox Game Pass not long after.

Not only would this include classic call of duty games, but it would also include newer games in the series as well. Here are all the call of duty games likely to be added to Xbox Game Pass once the Activision deal is approved, listed in release order.

  • call of duty 2
  • call of duty 3
  • Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
  • Call of Duty: World at War
  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
  • Call of Duty Black Ops
  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops 2
  • Call of Duty: Ghosts
  • Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops 3
  • Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare
  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered
  • Call of Duty: World War 2
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops 4
  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Campaign Remastered
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War
  • Call of Duty: Vanguard
  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 2022 (assuming the deal is approved in 2023 as predicted)

Besides the classic call of duty games, one has to imagine that chances are good the remastered versions of call of duty 4 and the original Modern Warfare 2 will join Xbox Game Pass as well, along with the most recent games in the series. Even if it doesn’t happen right away, at some point, Xbox Game Pass subscribers should have access to a near-complete collection of call of duty games.

The only exception is call of duty classic. For the uninitiated, call of duty classic is a re-release of the original call of duty game that was ported to Xbox Live Arcade and the PS3 PlayStation Store in 2009. call of duty classic was never added to Xbox’s backward compatibility list, and since Xbox is done making games backward compatible, it seems it never will.

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It’s a shame that the call of duty collection on Xbox Game Pass will be missing the first game, as it will make it impossible for fans to play through the entire franchise on the latest Xbox hardware. However, perhaps an exception will be made for call of duty classic to be made a part of the Xbox backward compatibility lineup, or maybe it will have a proper re-release again so that it becomes playable on modern hardware. Even without call of duty classicthough, Xbox Game Pass is set to get a ton of call of duty content once the Activision acquisition goes through.

And this may be more significant than some may realize. The older call of duty games remain fairly popular with the community, especially the first two black ops games and the 2009 version of Modern Warfare 2. If the games came to Xbox Game Pass, one has to imagine that it would result in their online communities getting a boost of players. And it would make it much easier for fans to organize sessions of classic call of duty Zombies and the like with their friends.

Right now, the high price of the older call of duty games is making it very difficult for nostalgic gamers to simply hop into a game of Zombies with their friends. At the time of this writing, Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, which first released in 2012, is still selling for a whopping $49.99 on the Xbox Store. Getting the game on Xbox Game Pass would remove that expensive barrier of entry, opening the floodgates for fans to relive their favorite call of duty games.

Will Call of Duty Games Be Day One Xbox Game Pass Releases?

As previously mentioned, one of the main reasons that Microsoft acquired Bethesda was to get day one game releases for Xbox Game Pass, and one has to assume that the same holds true for its Activision acquisition. However, there may be mitigating circumstances keeping Microsoft from making the brand-new call of duty games day one Xbox Game Pass releases.

As mentioned by reputable leaker Tom Henderson, it’s possible that PlayStation’s deal with call of duty will extend to Treyarch’s next call of duty game, which is believed to release in 2023. If this is true, it means that Xbox won’t be able to make call of duty games day one until after Treyarch’s next call of duty release. After all, Microsoft has promised to honor any existing deals between Sony and the companies it’s been acquiring. This is why Bethesda-published games like death loop and Ghostwire: Tokyo released as timed-PS5 exclusives, even after they were already under the Xbox umbrella.

call of duty will be day one Xbox Game Pass games eventually, but the only question is when it will happen. It definitely won’t happen with the upcoming Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 that’s set to launch later this year, so fans shouldn’t hold their breath for that.

Exclusive Call of Duty Content for Xbox Game Pass Subscribers

Whenever PlayStation’s call of duty deal runs out, one has to imagine that Microsoft will be looking to entice COD players to sign up for Xbox Game Pass by tempting them with special bonuses and perks. It already does this for some games, giving players of those titles even more reason to sign up for the subscription service. This could come in the form of free cosmetic DLC, unlocks, and more, and it will be interesting to see how it’s handled.

For now, Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision has yet to go through, so fans should keep that in mind.

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