Call of Duty blocked from Game Pass due to Sony deal, Xbox claims

By Sean Carey,

An existing agreement between Sony and Activision suggests Call of Duty games will not be coming to Game Pass "for a number of years" even if Microsoft's acquisition of Activision Blizzard was to go ahead.

In a response to the UK's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), Microsoft revealed that there are certain restrictions in place that would stop Microsoft from putting Call of Duty on Xbox Game Pass, thanks to an existing deal between Sony and Activision.

Sony's current deal with Activision restricts the publisher from putting Call of Duty on Xbox Game Pass

In the footnotes of the lengthy document of published responses, Microsoft said, "The agreement between Activision Blizzard and Sony includes restrictions on the ability of Activision Blizzard to place Call of Duty titles on Game Pass for a number of years."

If true, and the deal is approved, it appears that new Call of Duty games will not be coming to Xbox Game Pass for a while yet, possibly for the next three Call of Duty releases at least. It's unclear what this statement means for previous Call of Duty games. Of course, this isn't the first time we've heard of Sony supposedly making deals to keep games from appearing in Game Pass. In a document sent to Brazil’s Administrative Council for Economic Defense, Microsoft accused Sony of paying for "blocking rights to prevent developers from adding content to Game Pass and other competing subscription services."

The CMA is expected to publish its final report on the acquisition in March 2023.

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Sean Carey
Written by Sean Carey
Sean graduated from Southampton Solent University with a first-class honours degree in Journalism, which he uses to keep TrueAchievements and TrueTrophies topped up with gaming and industry news. When not scouring the web for the latest big story, you’ll find him tearing up the streets in Forza Horizon 5, or failing miserably in Call of Duty: Warzone.