Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer has confirmed that Microsoft intends to add Activision Blizzard’s catalog of games to Game Pass–including Overwatch, Diablo, and Call of Duty–if its proposed deal to buy the gaming giant goes through.
Spencer confirmed this in a blog post. He reiterated Microsoft’s belief that its proposal to buy Activision Blizzard is not anti-competitive in part because the deal–should it be approved–will help developers “bring more games to more players, not fewer.”
In January 2022, when Microsoft publicly announced its intense to acquire Activision Blizzard, the company said it would add “as many Activision Blizzard games” to Game Pass and PC Game Pass as possible. This would include both new titles and Activision Blizzard’s catalog.
However, the blog post didn’t single out any specific franchises and it wasn’t until now that Spencer spoke specifically about Overwatch, Diablo, and Call of Duty. Overwatch 2 launches this October, while Diablo IV is set for release sometime in 2023. Call of Duty sees a new release every year, historically–including Modern Warfare 2 this October–though it’s rumored there will be no mainline entry in 2023.
None of this should be a surprise, however, as all of Microsoft’s first-party games come to Game Pass, including new releases. If Microsoft’s deal to buy Activision Blizzard is approved, franchises like Overwatch, Diablo, and Call of Duty would become first-party games.
Microsoft’s proposed deal to buy Activision Blizzard is facing increased scrutiny, as the UK just announced it may elevate its investigation into the deal over anti-competitive concerns. In response, Spencer published a letter that digs into why he believes Microsoft wouldn’t limit competition if the deal happens.
Saudi Arabia has already approved the deal, and New Zealand is set to make a judgment on September 2. Keep checking back with GameSpot for the latest.
Microsoft remains hopeful that its deal to buy Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion will go through by the end of its fiscal year in June 2023.
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