Call of Duty: Black Ops 6 coming to Game Pass on Day One

The latest entry of this popular series might prove to be mightily important regardless of its quality – here’s why

Tens of millions of Game Pass subscribers will be getting the latest Call of Duty title for free this year. It will be really interesting to see how Microsoft’s choice affects the game’s sales, among other things. (Image: Activision)

So the rumors making the rounds on the Web during the last few days were true and the accidental notification push that happened earlier today was scheduled to arrive at some point soon anyway… but, in any case, it’s now official: the next installment of the popular Call of Duty franchise will be available to both Xbox Game Pass and PC Game Pass subscribers on day one. This has been previously confirmed to be Call of Duty: Black Ops 6 – taking place during the Gulf War and following a storyline somehow focused on the CIA – which will be released for the Xbox Series S/X, the PS5 and the PC at some point during Q4 2024. Several reports claim that the title will be also released for the PS4 and the Xbox One, although this has not been officially confirmed yet.

Microsoft made the announcement in a blog post without revealing much:

We’re excited to confirm that Game Pass members will be able to jump into Call of Duty: Black Ops 6 on day one with Game Pass. We will have a special Xbox Games Showcase followed by a Call of Duty: Black Ops 6 Direct on June 9, 2024, at 10am PT, where we’ll share more details on what’s coming in this all-new Call of Duty.

The company did release the “live action trailer” included in this story: it sets the tone for the next Call of Duty without containing any gameplay footage and, being based on rather recent historical events, it will be interesting to see how Activision chose to shape the plot and characters of this installment’s campaign. In any case, Black Ops 6 has been in development for almost four years by both Raven and Treyarch – the former focusing on the single player aspect, the latter focusing on the multiplayer one – and it’s fair to say that expectations are high, especially after last year’s lackluster Modern Warfare entry.

Call of Duty: Black Ops 6 being available on the Xbox Game Pass service on release is obviously huge news for millions of gamers worldwide, as well as a pivotal point in the history of Call of Duty, of the Xbox brand, even of Microsoft itself. The company’s choice to go ahead and offer a $69.99 production to more than 30 million Game Pass subscribers essentially for free – each Call of Duty title sells at least 18 to 20 million copies in its first 18 months, sometimes much more – is currently seen as risky to say the least. All eyes will be on Microsoft come January, when it will have to report how this choice affected the initial sales of Call of Duty: Black Ops 6, as well as the growth of Game Pass as a whole.

Needless to say, the outcome of this choice might influence Microsoft’s decisions regarding titles such as this one for years to come: if, for instance, total sales of Black Ops 6 take a significant hit but Game Pass subscription numbers do not receive a meaningful boost, the company may not release another Call of Duty this way ever again. If, on the other hand, this proves to be a successful experiment, the annual release of a new Call of Duty alone could help Microsoft’s subscription service in the long term.

It will also be interesting to see whether the company will be keeping its promise regarding feature parity between the different versions of Call of Duty: Black Ops 6, as most CoD titles traditionally do very well on Xbox’s direct competition, the PlayStation. It’s rather safe to assume that, in contrast to many such occasions in the past, there will be no special promotional collaboration between Sony and Activision on the latest Call of Duty this time around – but if the PS5 version of the game is not as technically polished or content-complete as the Xbox Series S/X one, then Microsoft could find itself in hot water (again).

We’ll find out more about all that in the fullness of time, but Call of Duty: Black Ops 6 already seems to be one of the most important installments in the franchise’s history regardless of its quality. Funny how that works sometimes, no?


Kostas Farkonas

Veteran reporter with over 30 years of industry experience in various media, focusing on consumer tech, entertainment and digital culture. No, he will not fix your PC (again).

Veteran reporter with over 30 years of industry experience in various media, focusing on consumer tech, entertainment and digital culture. No, he will not fix your PC (again).




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