In a recent podcast, Xbox head Phil Spencer confirmed that games from Activision Blizzard won’t be making their way to the Xbox Game Pass until 2024. This delay is primarily attributed to the lengthy regulatory processes surrounding Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard, which faced scrutiny from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over concerns of anti-competitiveness. Despite the delay, Spencer expressed excitement for the future, indicating that the integration of popular game franchises like Call of Duty, Warcraft, Diablo, and Overwatch is planned for the coming year, marking a significant expansion of the Game Pass library once the hurdles are cleared.
The anticipation surrounding the addition of Activision Blizzard games to the Xbox Game Pass was heightened due to Microsoft’s precedent of swiftly integrating Bethesda’s games into the service following its acquisition in 2021. Unfortunately, the regulatory challenges with Activision Blizzard have caused a deviation from this expectation, leaving Xbox Game Pass subscribers to await 2024 for new additions from these beloved franchises.
Upon the closing of the acquisition deal, Phil Spencer remarked, “o now that the deal is closed, we’re starting that work, but there is work. And…the Twitter handle did put out something that talked about 2024, I think that’s accurate. I would love it if there was some kind of secret celebration drop that was coming in the next couple of weeks, there’s not.” These comments underline the immediate commencement of integration efforts post-acquisition while also reaffirming the 2024 timeline for Activision Blizzard games’ inclusion in the Xbox Game Pass.
The regulatory intricacies have not only delayed the incorporation of Activision Blizzard’s titles into the Xbox Game Pass but have also extended the entire acquisition process, with the FTC expressing concerns about potential exclusivity of these games to Xbox platforms, which would remove them from millions of PlayStation gamers.
Spencer’s remarks reflect a sense of understanding towards potential disappointment among the Xbox community while also emphasizing the long-term benefits this acquisition holds for the gaming ecosystem. The sentiments echo across various reports, portraying the scenario as a mixture of regulatory formalities and strategic long-term planning, albeit with a temporary setback in delivering a richer gaming experience to Xbox Game Pass subscribers.