Polygon

This year’s Call of Duty will go straight to Game Pass, report says

Microsoft intends to put its $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard to use by releasing the subsequent Call of Duty sport immediately on its Game Move subscription service, the Wall Street Journal reports. The WSJ says the plan will be introduced at Xbox’s annual summer season showcase on June 9.

The transfer has been anticipated ever since Microsoft first introduced its intention to purchase the writer. Call of Duty is Activision’s greatest franchise, and its potential worth to Game Move was assumed to be the crown jewel of the acquisition — significantly after Microsoft made it clear that it will not think about making Call of Duty video games console-exclusive to Xbox.

However there have been nonetheless persistent doubts that Microsoft would pull the set off and make Call of Duty a day-one Game Move launch. The collection, which sees a brand new full-price launch each calendar yr, is enormously profitable, promoting round 25 million copies yearly. The monetary knowledge of permitting these gross sales to be cannibalized as a loss-leader to develop subscription numbers has been questioned.

There have been some indicators that Microsoft was cooling on Game Move as a enterprise mannequin, too. The corporate solely lately ended a two-year silence on subscriber numbers (they stand at 34 million, apparently), and Microsoft gaming chief Phil Spencer has admitted to a slowdown in development. A latest transfer towards multiplatform publishing indicated that Microsoft is extra targeted on maximizing revenue by promoting video games wherever doable than in investing in its platforms. And a few interpreted the closure of the studios Tango Gameworks and Arkane Austin as an indication that Microsoft was extra taken with making video games with robust gross sales potential than in stocking Game Move with a broad vary of titles, which had appeared to be its aim throughout its lengthy studio acquisition spree.

In that context, sacrificing gross sales by placing the most recent Call of Duty on Game Move is a transparent signal that Microsoft is dedicated to the service — and that Plan A remains to be very a lot in impact.

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