Activision Blizzard games won’t join Xbox Game Pass service until at least 2024

Following Microsoft’s announcement of its completed acquisition of Activision Blizzard and the confirmation of introducing popular titles such as “Call of Duty” and “Diablo” to the Xbox Game Pass service, Phil Spencer, the head of Xbox, elaborated with more granularity, stating that it would take some time before Activision Blizzard’s games appear on Xbox Game Pass.

Phil Spencer noted that while the acquisition of ZeniMax in 2021 was smooth, which also secured Bethesda and its affiliated gaming assets and quickly incorporated the game content into Xbox Game Pass, the acquisition of Activision Blizzard involved extended negotiations with regional regulatory bodies, and even entailed court litigations. Due to these complexities, there hasn’t been ample time for content integration, hence the delay in introducing Activision Blizzard games to the Xbox Game Pass service for a wider audience to enjoy.

According to Spencer, the earliest Microsoft could introduce Activision Blizzard games to Xbox Game Pass would be in 2024. However, some market analysts speculate that Microsoft’s delay in adding Activision Blizzard content to Xbox Game Pass is also a strategic move to avert controversies and minimize risks associated with allegations of monopolistic practices by regulatory bodies or other game industry stakeholders.

In addition to forecasting the 2024 debut of Activision Blizzard games on Xbox Game Pass, Spencer revealed his recent visits to King’s European offices and Activision Blizzard’s California headquarters. He expressed hopes of reviving early beloved classics for a new generation of gamers, citing examples like Infocom’s text-based adventure game “Zork” from the 1970s, and Sierra’s graphical adventure series, “King’s Quest.”

Furthermore, Spencer underscored the necessity for Microsoft to carve out a successful niche in the mobile gaming market, especially since acquiring titles like “Candy Crush Saga,” “Diablo Immortal,” and “Call of Duty: Mobile” through Activision Blizzard. This implies a viable opportunity for Microsoft in the mobile gaming domain, and they haven’t dismissed the potential of launching their mobile game store.

However, Spencer believes this doesn’t necessitate Microsoft converting all games to mobile versions. Instead, it signifies Microsoft’s enhanced strategic positioning in the gaming industry, allowing for diversified developmental initiatives.