‘Call of Duty: Black Ops 6’ Will Be Available on Xbox Game Pass on Launch

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Key Takeaways

  • Call of Duty: Black Ops 6 will be available on Xbox Game Pass on release.
  • It's the first game in the series to reach the service.
  • Microsoft hopes the game will draw users to Xbox consoles.

Microsoft has confirmed that Call of Duty: Black Ops 6 will be available through Xbox Game Pass on launch day.

As expected, this makes the marquee first-person shooter much more appealing if you’re a subscriber. It also opens the door to playing a console-level Call of Duty game on your phone or tablet through cloud streaming on the Game Pass Ultimate tier.

Microsoft will formally unveil Black Ops 6 in an event immediately following its Xbox Games Showcase on June 9th. A teaser video (below) indicates something of what to expect, though. The live-action clip shows leaders like George Bush Sr. and Margaret Thatcher hinting that the political reality is much darker than it appears.

There’s no mention of whether or not existing Call of Duty games are coming to Game Pass.

The strategy behind the release is largely self-evident. Adding one of the largest game franchises to Game Pass theoretically drives more subscriptions for the service as well as more Xbox hardware sales. Console demand has dropped sharply in recent months, but this potentially renews interest.

Microsoft is widely believed to have bought Activision Blizzard with Call of Duty access on Game Pass in mind. Regulators worldwide cited this as a possible reason to block the deal, and Microsoft made 10-year commitments to offering the series on Nintendo and Sony systems to help clear the merger.

Activision previously declined to offer Call of Duty on game subscription services. As the publisher’s flagship title, sales generated a large slice of the company’s yearly revenue. That’s not as much of an issue now.  While sales are still likely to represent the majority of interest in Black Ops 6, Microsoft may be willing to shoulder the load if Game Pass availability hurts Activision’s bottom line.