Call of Duty: Black Ops 6 on Xbox Game Pass May Solve One of Its Major Problems

Some players say they'll play their first Call Of Duty game in years thanks to the subscription service.


After weeks of speculation, Xbox has made it official. Call of Duty: Black Ops 6 will launch on Game Pass. It will likely be the biggest debut ever for the subscription service, and this may be thanks to players who haven’t played a game in the series in years.

Since Microsoft's $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard late last year, the question remained if they’d be willing to debut the blockbuster franchise on the stagnant subscription service. While the addition will no doubt boost the number of new Game Pass users in some way, it will essentially come at the cost of eliminating a portion of the game’s lucrative launch revenue.

But what Microsoft stands to lose in raw sales, they stand to gain in renewed interest in the long-running IP. According to an X (formerly Twitter) poll posted by Inverse, many lapsed Call Of Duty fans on Xbox and PC are looking forward to trying the series again for the first time in years as part of their monthly subscriptions.

Black Ops 6 will be the first game in the franchise to be released under the Xbox regime.


Of the 100 players who responded to our poll, 58 said they’re playing Call Of Duty this year through Game Pass.“I’m a Game Pass Ultimate subscriber and I am subbed until mid-2027, so Game Pass for me,” one player told us.

“This will be the first COD that I've played in years because it's in Game Pass,” user @Panther_Blue001 said. He added that 2016’s Black Ops 3 was the last Call Of Duty game that he purchased.

“I'm only interested this year because it's in Game Pass,” he continued. “I already subscribe to it and I figured that I'll play it for the campaign.”

While this small Twitter poll isn’t representative of all Xbox players, it is clear that many players are forgoing the $70 purchase. Just eight X users said they’d still be paying the full price to own their copy. The game’s availability also solves the player retention issue the franchise has seen in recent years. While the annual games maintain a healthy community compared to other games on the market, over the years it has lost millions of players without an answer for how to bring those players back.

2023’s Modern Warfare 3 was a divisive entry in the franchise for not including an all-new multiplayer mode, and for its lackluster single player campaign.

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“For me, annual releases like Call Of Duty are perfect Game Pass titles,” X user @megalodondada said. “Nobody expects anything groundbreaking, and there's no ownership qualms about something you'll probably stop playing as soon as the next one comes out.”

“Truthfully I’m not a huge Call Of Duty guy, but my friends are,” Twitter user @Mojosaurus told us. “This allows me to join them sometimes instead of being left out of the action.”

The annual Call Of Duty coming to Game Pass day one is the ultimate test for the service. Despite being one of the best deals in gaming, convincing players to give up $17 a month for access to hundreds of games at any time has been a tough sell without a constant stream of huge exclusives to keep people around. As has been reported by Mat Piscatella, Xbox Game Pass and other gaming subscription services have failed to see significant growth for two years now.

But few games drop as consistently as Call Of Duty, which has seen a new game every year since 2003. Knowing that you can play the new Call Of Duty in addition to whatever other great games rotate into the ever-growing Game Pass library makes it a slightly better deal for millions of gamers who are already playing Call Of Duty every year, and are spending additional cash on battle passes and cosmetics. Access to Game Pass may even get these more casual players to try some other games in the Xbox ecosystem, something the brand desperately needs at a time when console sales are dropping off.

Xbox looks to be doing exactly that, according to its announcement blog.

“If you’re new to Game Pass — we’ve got a (figurative) mountain of games for you to check out and play while waiting for that pre-install button to light up for Black Ops 6,” Tuesday’s blog reads.

There are still plenty of details that players don’t know about Call Of Duty’s Game Pass debut. For one, Xbox hasn’t said if Black Ops 6 will be accessible to those who pay for the service’s most affordable tier. It also hasn’t said if Game Pass PC or Game Pass Console players will be able to play Black Ops 6 multiplayer since the online functionality is reserved for Core and the premium tier of Game Pass Ultimate. We will likely find out more come June 9, when Xbox will stream a special Call Of Duty showcase alongside a general games showcase.

This story is developing...

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