With the recent news that Xbox has reportedly submitted all the requested info to the FTC regarding the big Activision Blizzard deal, we’re starting to get excited about the prospect of the publisher’s titles hitting Xbox Game Pass. Sure, we’ve known for some time that Xbox is hoping to bring as many Activision Blizzard games to the library as possible, but now that the deal could be closing in the near future, it’s all starting to feel real.
When we first found out about the acquisition, Microsoft said that the deal should conclude some time between July 2022 and June 2023. Naturally, with a merger this size, a lot of us expected 2023 to be the more likely timeline. The fact that it could now be this year is getting us all giddy about Game Pass growth. So, with that in mind, here are five reasons we’re getting real excited about Activision Blizzard on Xbox Game Pass...
Crash & Spyro Finding A New Home On Xbox
We recently looked at Stray compared to Blinx and why we think Xbox could invest in the latter to create a cool little platform mascot. Well, how about these two lads? That’s right, if the deal goes through Crash and Spyro would be Xbox-owned, and a bunch of their respective catalogues will be added to the Game Pass library. Given that both of these series’ have received remastered trilogies, that should mean we’ll get all of their iconic entries on the service.
Then, there’s the future of these franchises. Activision had seemingly shelved both of these after their revivals didn’t sell gangbusters (especially Spyro, at least Crash got a new game) but now Xbox would have a hold of them, and we’d expect to see new entries in both series’. We’d love to see a new Spyro with all that Xbox Series X|S next-gen goodness baked in. Just use the Reignited Trilogy as a starting point, that collection was bloody gorgeous!
Call Of Duty Is Still King
Look, we know, a lot of you are probably tired of Call of Duty. This writer is a huge fan and even they are feeling the burnout. But the truth of it is this - Call of Duty is still the king of console shooters. Battlefield 2042’s fumbled launch and Halo Infinite’s lack of a proper post-launch plan have reinforced that thought. Even Vanguard, arguably the worst Call of Duty in some time, has delivered its live service much more efficiently than these two.
And with the upcoming launch of Modern Warfare 2, which will no doubt be absolutely massive alongside Warzone 2's 2022 launch, this series ain’t going anywhere. In fact, it's enjoyed a bit of a revival since the 2019 Modern Warfare reboot, and while its direct sequel might not hit Game Pass on day one due to contractual obligations, we’d expect it to come one day, alongside an absolutely gargantuan library of first-person shooters. The Xbox 360 CoD titles hitting Game Pass alone is enough to get excited about, as some of those are up there with the best console shooters ever made!
Some Dormant Franchises Could Return
Once upon a time, Activision used to make more than Call of Duty. Remember Guitar Hero, Prototype, Singularity? We’d hedge our bets that some of these dormant Activision franchises would have more chance at returning when the defining metric for them won’t be sales. Xbox is looking to ultimately boost its Game Pass subscriber count, so not every single release has to sell 85 million copies…
Guitar Hero in particular just feels right as an Xbox Game Pass addition (yes, we’ve already ranted about this). Sure, there’s the hurdle of getting those plastic instruments into people’s homes for the full experience, but if they can figure that out, Guitar Hero on Game Pass is golden. New music packs every few months as Game Pass Ultimate perks? We can already see it!
Blizzard Integration on Game Pass
Let’s not forget, this deal includes Blizzard, who merged with Activision many moons ago. Yes, we obviously get some superb Blizzard titles on Xbox Game Pass like Overwatch, Diablo and such, but a huge number of their titles are also PC-only, mainly due to how they work with controls and the like.
Even so, there's potential for even deeper Blizzard integration with Xbox Game Pass. That could include Game Pass Ultimate perks for the likes of World of Warcraft, Hearthstone and more (maybe even add the latter to Xbox Cloud Gaming?), or possibly even a full WoW sub being included in the PC Game Pass library. That would certainly drive sub numbers, given the current cost of a World of Warcraft subscription on its own.
More Regular First-Party Releases
One huge bonus we’ll land once Activision comes aboard, is the breadth of developer talent spread across the company’s many, many studios. Sure, most of them at present are working on Call of Duty in some fashion, but Xbox could shuffle things around so that some of these teams are freed up for other projects.
We just mentioned Singularity, the underrated shooter from the now-CoD Warzone developer Raven Software. We’d love to see the shackles removed with this team in particular, so they could revisit that series or maybe, just maybe, create a new IP. Such a term has seemed alien to Activision in recent years, but the Xbox deal gives us hope that we may well see some new franchises from these Activision teams in the not-too-distant future.
What are you most excited about with Xbox and Activision Blizzard joining forces? Let us know down in the comments!