Call of Duty Release Update Is Good News for Xbox Game Pass Players

Call of Duty games will get day one releases on Xbox Game Pass, but will that start with the 2024 game, which is rumored to be set during the Gulf War?

Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2
Photo: Activision Blizzard

Despite acquiring Activision Blizzard last year, Xbox has yet to add any of the publisher’s titles to its Game Pass subscription service. That will of course change very soon when Diablo IV hits the service on March 28. But what about Activision Blizzard’s biggest AAA franchise?

Xbox has yet to announce when first-person shooter behemoth Call of Duty will arrive on Game Pass despite the fact that there’s a new installment in the series set to be released later this year. Most importantly, will Call of Duty 2024, which is rumored to be set during the Gulf War, get a day one release on the service?

“Our intent is the full portfolio of games from ZeniMax, Activision Blizzard, and Xbox Game Studios will be on Game Pass, day one,” Microsoft Gaming chief Phil Spencer told Stephen Totilo’s Game File newsletter. Spencer stopped short of confirming Call of Duty 2024 will drop on Game Pass this year, and Totilo notes that the details around the franchise’s eventual arrival on the service are “a little fuzzy,” but the good news is Xbox is working toward a future where Call of Duty games have day one releases.

New yearly installments, plus a backlog of 23 mainline titles and many spinoffs, would certainly be a major boost to the Game Pass lineup. But it remains to be seen when we might see all this take effect. According to Spencer, work is still ongoing on the technical side for all Activision Blizzard launches on Game Pass: “We’re doing the back end work to make them come to PC and console simultaneously.”

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While there are few official details about what Call of Duty 2024 will entail, there are plenty of rumors floating around about the new installment. Windows Central was the first to report that this year’s game is a new entry in the Black Ops series set in the early ’90s during America’s first invasion of Iraq. According to the outlet, Black Ops: Gulf War (if the series follows the same title structure as 2020’s Cold War) “will lean back into more traditional military combat technology and familiar Black Ops gadgetry as opposed to the current and near-future tech we’ve seen from Modern Warfare and some other recent Call of Duty titles.”

The game will reportedly feature a “nuanced narrative” that will explore different different sides of the conflict as well as tie into the end of the Cold War and its aftermath. It sounds like fans can expect the conspiracy-laden narratives that have differentiated this series from the more straightforward thriller storylines in the Modern Warfare games.

With Treyarch helming this installment, fans should also expect a new iteration of the Zombies mode and reports suggest that the new game could also bring back past Black Ops multiplayer maps, including WMD and Grind. You can bet on the game having some influence on the next big refresh of Call of Duty Warzone as well.

No release date has been set for Call of Duty 2024, but we’ll keep you updated as we hear more.