Overwatch, Diablo, Call of Duty are all coming to the Game Pass

Phil Spencer confirmed that Microsoft will take advantage of its latest mega acquisition as soon as it can.


In one quick blog post, Xbox head, Phil Spencer, temporarily eased fan concerns as the tech giant, Microsoft, moves forward with its acquisition of Activision Blizzard.

Collectively, the Call of Duty franchise has sold more than 425 million units in less than two decades.

According to Spencer, Microsoft will be making "Activision Blizzard's much-loved library of games - including Overwatch, Diablo, and Call of Duty - available on Game Pass and to grow those gaming communities."

Earlier this year, Microsoft paid a hefty sum to buy Activision Blizzard, a move that was met with equal parts concern and optimism. Since then, we've found out just how big of a deal Call of Duty really is - apparently, Sony thinks highly of the marquee shooter franchise.

Also, we've learned that the powers that be care a bit more about regulating stuff when several more zeroes are involved. For example, while Sony has had no problem closing its Bungie buyout, Microsoft is still dealing with the intervention of several governing bodies from the rest of the world.

After a lengthy tussle with Brazil's competition regulator, UK's equivalent recently declared that it will look into the merger. The UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) argued that Microsoft could do the same to Activision Blizzard's properties as it did with ZeniMax Media's.

It's worth remembering that Microsoft officially became the new owner of ZeniMax Media last year. As a result, Microsoft is now free to do as it pleases to any property owned by the company, such as making Starfield and The Elder Scrolls 6 exclusive to the Xbox.

Diablo is another commercially successful product that regulators will be keeping a close eye on as Microsoft lobbies hard to push through with its acquisition.

It's a legitimate concern that Spencer is trying to downplay with his latest statement. Here's an excerpt of what Spencer said in his blog post, "Gaming for everyone, everywhere."

We've heard that this deal might take franchises like Call of Duty away from the places where people currently play them. That's why, as we've said before, we are committed to making the same version of Call of Duty available on PlayStation on the same day the game launches elsewhere. We will continue to enable people to play with each other across platforms and across devices. We know players benefit from this approach because we've done it with Minecraft, which continues to be available on multiple platforms and has expanded to even more since Mojang joined Microsoft in 2014.

Make no mistake, Spencer isn't feeling altruistic. It's about the numbers. The Elder Scrolls as well as Starfield might lose half of their potential sales by becoming exclusive to the Xbox. But, let's not kid ourselves. These two games combined don't even come close to the pull that Call of Duty alone has.

When you throw in IPs like World of Warcraft, Diablo, and Overwatch, Microsoft has every incentive to newer games in the aforementioned franchises available on all platforms. But, we can't also deny that Microsoft is large enough to take the dive a move toward exclusivity might bring if there's enough financial incentive.

Don't forget, we're not just talking about five to ten years from now here - we're talking in terms of decades into the future.

We don't think Microsoft is brazen enough to believe that it can stomach the financial loss of making even just Overwatch 2 exclusive to the Xbox platform.

In an ideal world, Spencer will live up to his promise for as long as he's head of Xbox Game Studios, which will later become Microsoft Gaming. But, these things change, so we can't guarantee that Overwatch, Diablo, Call of Duty, Warcraft, and Starcraft, among many others, will never become exclusive to the Xbox platform. It's all a matter of when and not if. Until then, we can at least celebrate knowing that the Game Pass will see hundreds of new titles as soon as the deal pushes through. Most likely, this will include older legacy games from the original Xbox and Xbox 360, as per earlier leaks.

Ray Ampoloquio
Ray is a lifelong gamer with a nose for keeping up with the latest news in and out of the gaming industry. When he's not reading, writing, editing, and playing video games, he builds and repairs computers in his spare time. You can find Ray on Twitter.
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