Why it matters: Microsoft might be inches from the finish line when it comes to completing its purchase of Activision Blizzard, but the deal still isn't done. Nevertheless, the Call of Duty maker has just said that it expects to start adding its titles to the Game Pass Service next year.
Posting on its official X/Twitter account, Activision Blizzard wrote that while it does not have plans to put Modern Warfare III or Diablo IV on Game Pass this year, it expects to start "working with Xbox to bring our titles to more players around the world" once the Microsoft deal closes.
"We anticipate that we would begin adding games into Game Pass sometime in the course of next year," the company said.
It's awesome to see anticipation building for Call of Duty®: Modern Warfare® III. As we continue to work toward regulatory approval of the Microsoft deal, we've been getting some questions whether our upcoming and recently launched games will be available via Game Pass.– Activision Blizzard (@ATVI_AB) October 9, 2023
Activision was responding to a user who asked if its upcoming and recently launched games will be available on Game Pass. There's no indication whether the company's large back catalog of older games, such as the earlier Call of Duty titles, will also come to the service, but it seems fairly certain. There is currently nothing from Activision Blizzard on Game Pass.
Almost two years after being announced, Microsoft's $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard is expected to be completed this Friday.
The final hurdle in the deal has been the UK's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) watchdog that had blocked it from going through over concerns it could alter the cloud gaming industry. But the agency gave its provisional approval last month after Microsoft said it would transfer the cloud streaming rights for all current and new Activision Blizzard PC and console games released over the next 15 years to Ubisoft.
The CMA previously said that Activision Blizzard's exclusive marketing deal with Sony for Call of Duty meant that new versions of CoD wouldn't arrive on Game Pass until 2025. However, as noted by The Verge, it's not clear when that exclusivity deal ends as Sony signed a 10-year deal with Microsoft in July that will keep the Call of Duty series on PlayStation.
Last month also saw the FTC revive its attempt to block the Microsoft/Activision deal. The agency said it will resume its in-house trial against the takeover after pausing the process over the summer. Microsoft is unlikely to be concerned, though. While the FTC can technically continue to challenge the deal after it closes, it's unlikely to prevent the acquisition from going through by the October 18 deadline.