Microsoft plans to debut the next Call of Duty online

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The Future. Microsoft is set to release the next Call of Duty game on the Xbox Game Pass and via a la carte disc sales. It’s a development that many in the gaming industry, including former Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick, say will hurt overall revenue. So, the game’s release could be a transformational moment for both Game Pass and the cloud-gaming industry, just like Netflix’s takeover of Hollywood… for better or worse.

Streaming warfare
Call of Duty is coming from the cloud.

  • The move is a major shakeup because releasing games via a subscription service (in this case, Game Pass) inherently brings in less money than through individual sales.
  • That’s especially true for Call of Duty, which is the best-selling game franchise of the past 14 years, selling 25 million copies annually at $70 a pop.
  • Meanwhile, Game Pass costs $9.99 to $16.99 per month, depending on the tier.

Microsoft hopes that all the people who sign up to play the game will bring in more revenue in the long run, pointing to how putting its popular Starfield game on Game Pass led to a record number of new subscriptions. It currently has 34 million subscribers.

Ironically enough, the federal government’s concern over Microsoft’s $75 billion takeover of Activision Blizzard (the company behind Call of Duty) hinged on the tech giant’s ability to maybe one day unfairly monopolize the cloud-gaming market by withholding Call of Duty from competing consoles. If Microsoft ever discontinues the discs, those fears may be realized.

David Vendrell

Born and raised a stone’s-throw away from the Everglades, David left the Florida swamp for the California desert. Over-caffeinated, he stares at his computer too long either writing the TFP newsletter or screenplays. He is repped by Anonymous Content.


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