Black Ops 4’s launch is fast approaching…and with it, retailers around the world are gearing up for yet another Call of Duty game launch. It’s one of the biggest games — even entertainment properties — every year, and the Black Ops series is the most successful sub-series in Call of Duty’s history.
Walmart has geared up for the launch with new Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 Stands going up in their stores. The stands feature the Monster Energy Drinks, Pringles, promo art work for each mode, Black Ops 4 themed gear, and the new Call of Duty McFarlane Figures.
The stand also confirms – once again – that the Black Ops Pass will be available as a standalone, with the item being available for separate purchase at Walmart starting at launch on Oct 12. A price for the Black Ops Pass has not been confirmed yet, so stay tuned for updates on that.
Stay tuned for the latest news on Black Ops 4 as we get to launch!
5 ways Microsoft buying Activision could change Call of Duty forever
Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard is a seizmic shift for gaming, and Xbox could make make some major changes to Call of Duty.
The world of gaming was rocked on January 18 when Microsoft confirmed they had agreed to buy Activision Blizzard. With Xbox Studios set to add CoD’s developers to their sprawling family of game creators, we take a look at five ways Call of Duty could change forever.
It’s rare that real surprises take place in the gaming industry, but everyone was left speechless when word of Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard broke on January 18. Worth close to $70 billion according to reports, it immediately becomes gaming’s biggest buyout ever.
The deal, which will close before June 2023, will see CoD developers Treyarch, Infinity Ward, Sledgehammer Games, and Raven Software all become wider parts of the Xbox Studios family, bringing past and future Call of Duty titles with them.
With such a seismic change, what could the Microsoft buyout mean for the future of the series, and what changes could Xbox Studios make to Call of Duty moving forward? We’ve picked out five ways the legendary FPS franchise could change forever once the deal is complete.
Call of Duty becomes Xbox-exclusive
The topic on every Call of Duty fan’s lips right now is Xbox exclusivity. With Microsoft adding the biggest console FPS title to their portfolio, they could use it to drive consumers away from the PS5 by announcing that future CoD titles are only available on the Xbox Series X|S.
Thankfully, that seems fairly unlikely, at least for the time being. Microsoft Gaming’s CEO Phil Spencer has already eased fears, telling Bloomberg that “it’s not our intent to pull communities away from [Sony’s] platform, and we remain committed to that.”
Still, we wouldn’t expect to see Sony’s deal for exclusive content on PlayStation consoles continue for long, with Microsoft likely to move that feature to Xbox as soon as possible.
A focus on Ranked Play
Ranked Play is a controversial word for CoD players. For years, players have bemoaned the franchise’s lackluster, and sometimes entirely missing, ranked playlists. A decade on, Black Ops 2’s League Play is still the gold standard in the franchise.
Under Xbox though, this might finally change. Halo Infinite featured a ranked playlist at launch, something we’ve been begging developers to do for years.
It’s unlikely that this will be Xbox’s biggest focus, but perhaps we could see CoD developers following 343 Industries’ path in the future.
CoD’s annual release schedule ends
This one is pretty unlikely, but as it stands, Xbox don’t have any titles that release on a yearly schedule – something Call of Duty is synonymous with.
Halo fans had to wait six years between Guardians and Infinite, and while we don’t think there would ever be such a huge gap between titles, Xbox Studios may be more open to granting developers more time to polish games before release.
- Read More: Best Warzone guns: Every weapon ranked
A greater focus on frequent Warzone updates, and using existing Xbox studios to help Raven Software, could help to plug a longer gap between mainline franchise releases.
Remastered CoD games & Xbox Game Pass
Game Pass has been a huge focus for Xbox, giving players the opportunity to play hundreds of games, starting at $9.99 a month. What better way to get Call of Duty players on the service than adding fan-favorite titles to its extensive library?
Who wouldn’t be pulling out their credit card to get back into CoD 4’s legendary campaign, or to dive into World At War’s classic Zombies mode?
If Microsoft wanted to go the extra mile, they could even add remastered versions of these games. Rumors suggest that an updated version of Modern Warfare 2 multiplayer was in development at one point, and Game Pass could be the perfect place to release it.
Minecraft Steve in Zombies? Master Chief in multiplayer? Forza cars in Warzone? All of these crazy ideas are now possible, as we expect to see major crossovers between Xbox games and Call of Duty.
- Read More: 10 best Call of Duty maps ever
While CoD’s Attack on Titan collaboration wasn’t well-received, the teams who create Microsoft’s iconic characters could actively work with studios like Sledgehammer and Raven to create awesome skins and cosmetics.
And really, who wouldn’t want to win a Warzone match as a kitted-out Spartan from Halo?
Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard creates so many options and theories, it could make your head spin. The reality is that we’ve never seen any deal as big as this in gaming, and the possibilities are endless. These are just a few possibilities, but Xbox may have even bigger plans than we could imagine.
With so many ideas and concerns, all we can do for now is wait and see how it all plays out. Still, we can’t contain our excitement at what could come next when the deal concludes before June 2023.
Image Credits: Activision Blizzard / Microsoft / 343 Industries
When will Call of Duty games be added to Xbox Game Pass?
After Microsoft’s $70 billion purchase of Activision Blizzard, CoD fans are wondering when the franchise will be added to Xbox Game Pass.
On January 18, Microsoft stunned the gaming community with a reported $70 billion purchase of Activision Blizzard which has left gamers wondering when Call of Duty games will be added to Xbox Game Pass.
The shocking news of Microsoft’s takeover will have massive implications on the Call of Duty franchise moving forward. Early reports from Microsoft suggest that they currently do not have plans of making Call of Duty an Xbox exclusive.
When will Call of Duty games be added to Xbox Game Pass
At the moment there is no official date for when Call of Duty will be added to Xbox Game Pass. However, we will be updating this article as more information about Microsoft’s future plans are revealed.
It’s being reported that the buyout should be complete before June 2023 therefore CoD 2023 may turn out to be the first title to appear on Xbox Game Pass.
Xbox Game Pass is Microsoft’s video game subscription service that launched in 2017. For a monthly fee, gamers are granted access to a rotating catalog of games. This service isn’t exclusive to Xbox console owners as Android, iOS devices, and PC players can also access the subscription.
Although the takeover still needs to be finalized, Call of Duty fans are already eagerly anticipating the possibility that future Call of Duty games will make their way to Xbox Game Pass.
Obviously, the benefit of adding Call of Duty to the Xbox Game Pass catalog is not lost on fans of the franchise. Not only would they save money but the day one access is a significant bonus for longtime CoD fans.
For more Call of Duty news check out how a CoD leaker revealed a possible Modern Warfare 2 early release date after Vanguard issues.
Image Credits: Activision / Microsoft
Microsoft to acquire Call of Duty publisher Activision Blizzard
Microsoft have officially announced that they have acquired Call of Duty publisher Activision Blizzard in a deal costing nearly $70 billion.
Microsoft has announced that they’re set to acquire Call of Duty publisher Activision Blizzard in a deal nearing $70 billion.
Xbox owner Microsoft has announced that they’re taking over Activision Blizzard, the publisher behind Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, and Overwatch.
Microsoft said on January 18, 2022, that they’re acquiring Activision, Blizzard, and King for nearly $70 billion to “bring the joy and community of gaming to everyone, across every device.” They’ve also announced plans to bring Activision Blizzard titles to Xbox Game Pass in the future.
In a post on the Xbox website, Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer said that “we will offer as many Activision Blizzard games as we can within Xbox Game Pass and PC Game Pass, both new titles and games from Activision Blizzard’s incredible catalog.”
And not only that, they said that “Microsoft and Activision Blizzard will empower players to enjoy the most-immersive franchises, like “Halo” and “Warcraft,” virtually anywhere they want.” We’ll need to wait and see how involved Activision Blizzard will be with Microsoft’s franchises such as Halo.
Activision currently have a partnership with Sony, giving Call of Duty players on PlayStation exclusive cosmetics, Double XP events, and more. With Activision moving to Microsoft, the Sony deal will presumably end.
But, it’s unlikely that Call of Duty will become Xbox and PC exclusive, as Microsoft said: “Activision Blizzard games are enjoyed on a variety of platforms and we plan to continue to support those communities moving forward.”
The deal will cost Microsoft “$95.00 per share, in an all-cash transaction valued at $68.7 billion,” which makes it “the world’s third-largest gaming company by revenue, behind Tencent and Sony.”
Phil Spencer said that “until this transaction closes, Activision Blizzard and Microsoft Gaming will continue to operate independently.” Current CEO Bobby Kotick will remain in charge, but once the deal, which is set to close in the fiscal year 2023, is completed, Activision Blizzard will report to Spencer.
Activision Blizzard is currently being investigated by the SEC over sexual misconduct and discrimination allegations. Phil Spencer announced, “Microsoft is committed to our journey for inclusion in every aspect of gaming, among both employees and players” and said that “We hold all teams, and all leaders, to this commitment.”
This is a developing story, so we’re likely to know more about the deal in the coming months.
Image Credit: Activision / Microsoft
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