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Call of Duty: Xbox Game Pass launch from day one for new game

Game Pass, much like Sony’s rival PlayStation Plus service, lets console and PC players play hundreds of video games for a monthly subscription fee.

Both have been described as a “Netflix for games”, but with the caveat that gamers can download many of the games available to play on their own hardware – rather than streaming over the cloud.

They are extremely popular services, with Sony saying PlayStation Plus had 47m subscribers in March 2023, while Microsoft said Game Pass had 34m subscribers as of February 2024.

But that means, unless something changes between now and Call of Duty’s launch (which does not yet have a release date), not one of the 34 million Game Pass subscribers will have to pay anything extra to play the new game.

This means Microsoft is taking a huge gamble, choosing to potentially cannibalise sales in exchange for – it hopes – a sharp increase to Game Pass subscribers.

Mr Dring said the move probably came down to an inherent problem with game streaming services – people simply don’t play as many games as they watch TV shows, so “it can be hard to justify” paying to play one or two titles.

But with the addition of such a big game to the service, he said there may yet be changes coming to make the numbers work.

“It’ll be interesting to see whether Xbox will introduce higher tiers to Game Pass or other monetisation techniques to mitigate this,” he said.

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