Activision Has 'Concerns' About Xbox Game Pass And PS Plus, Explains Microsoft

You've probably noticed over the past few years that we've never seen any Activision games crop up on Xbox Game Pass — the likes of Call of Duty, Spyro, Crash Bandicoot and Tony Hawk — and Microsoft appears to have revealed the reason for this, as part of new documents related to the attempted acquisition of Activision Blizzard.

Although some of the information is redacted for privacy / legal reasons, Microsoft says that Activision is "concerned" about the "brand dilution" and "cannibalisation of buy-to-play sales" that could result from including games on Xbox Game Pass and PlayStation Plus, especially for new releases.

"Activision is concerned that participation in subscription services could impact its [REDACTED] and would lead to brand dilution and cannibalisation of buy-to-play sales (especially of new releases)."

"Historically, a very limited number of Activision titles have featured on PlayStation Plus, but these titles have always been older releases that have been provided to PlayStation Plus many years after their initial release via buy-to-play, and are only made available for a limited time. Activision has never published any newer content on multigame subscription services and has no intention to do so in the future."

Microsoft's admission is intended to show that the acquisition of Activision Blizzard, which would result in ActiBlizz games being made available on Xbox Game Pass, "can not make competitive conditions worse" in the industry:

"Without the Merger, Activision content would not be available on multigame subscription services. The Merger can therefore not make competitive conditions worse, under any circumstances."

The document, which is aimed at the UK's Competitive Markets Authority, goes on to argue that Sony has a "range of options to maintain or improve the competitive position of PlayStation Plus" in response to Call of Duty potentially joining Xbox Game Pass (if the merger goes through), including the ability to integrate "additional first and third-party releases in PlayStation Plus on the 'day and date' release".

So, what's the state of play right now? Basically, if Microsoft's acquisition of Activision Blizzard goes through next year, the plan is to seemingly include ActiBlizz games "day and date" on Xbox Game Pass in the future, although it appears Call of Duty might be a bit of a special case. If it doesn't go through for whatever reason, it sounds as though Activision Blizzard has no plans to support Xbox Game Pass anytime soon.

Assuming it all goes smoothly in the end, here's what we could be seeing on Xbox Game Pass in 2023:

What do you make of this? Let us know down in the comments section below.