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Breaking News: Microsoft to Release Next ‘Call of Duty’ on Game Pass Subscription Service

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Microsoft is set to make a significant shift in its gaming strategy by releasing the upcoming installment of the “Call of Duty” franchise on its Game Pass subscription service. This marks a departure from its long-standing practice of selling the title independently, according to a source familiar with the matter.

The announcement is expected at Microsoft’s annual Xbox showcase on June 9. Microsoft has not yet commented on the report, which was first disclosed by the Wall Street Journal.

The decision follows Microsoft’s $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard, the developer behind “Call of Duty.” The franchise, renowned as one of the most successful in entertainment history, has generated over $30 billion in lifetime revenue. Traditionally, new editions of the game have been released annually at around $70 each.

This strategic move comes shortly after Xbox President Sarah Bond announced that all first-party Xbox games would be available on Game Pass from their launch day. Game Pass, a subscription service offering access to a wide range of games for a monthly fee, has been a key part of Microsoft’s efforts to challenge the dominance of Sony’s PlayStation consoles.

As of February, Game Pass boasts 34 million subscribers, a substantial increase from the 25 million reported in 2022. Analysts believe that adding “Call of Duty” to Game Pass will attract even more subscribers, though it may impact traditional sales of the game.

“Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III,” released in November 2023, is currently the second-best selling game of the year, trailing only Sony’s “Helldivers II,” according to industry tracker Circana.

The potential inclusion of “Call of Duty” in Game Pass underscores Microsoft’s aggressive push to build a Netflix-style game subscription service and diversify its revenue streams beyond individual game sales. The company’s efforts aim to provide a competitive edge against Sony by offering high-demand games like “Call of Duty” as part of its subscription model.

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