Next Call of Duty game will cost £1 for Xbox players, but Sony PS5 users will be forced to pay full price

a soldier skydives into the scene with an exploding water tower from call of duty warzone

Call of Duty will return with a brand-new entry, tipped to be set in the Cold War, developed by Treyarch under the COD: Black Ops sub-brand in the blockbuster shooter franchise

ACTIVISION | MICROSOFT
Aaron Brown

By Aaron Brown


Published: 18/05/2024

- 11:42

Microsoft executives have decided to stick with the subscription model, sources claim

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The next major instalment in the Call of Duty franchise will be available on Xbox Game Pass at no extra cost, sources speaking to The Wall Street Journal have confirmed. The Netflix-like subscription offers a vast catalogue of games from Microsoft-owned studios as well as a rotating selection of third-party titles. It costs £12.99 for Game Pass Ultimate, which includes every title, while Game Pass Core offers a restricted library.


When bought from some third-party resellers, like CDKeys, a subscription to Game Pass costs as little as £8.99 for 30 days — unlocking access to online multiplayer, in-game perks, and hundreds of blockbuster games. If the report from WSJ is accurate, Game Pass subscribers will be able to play the new Call of Duty— widely tipped to be called Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War from midnight on its release day too.

Microsoft regularly offers a £1 trial period for its Xbox Game Pass subscription to tempt new customers. If you haven't subscribed before, you'll be able to download games in the catalogue to your console, or stream to devices like a MacBook, Windows PC, Samsung Smart TV, or iPad over Wi-Fi. If the promotion is running when the next Call of Duty Black Ops launches, it will be a surefire way to drive up subscriptions overnight.

two people sit back to back playing video games on a phone and windows surface device surrounded by characters from the games

Xbox Game Pass works on Xbox consoles, Windows laptops, tablets and desktop PCs, Android phones, Meta Quest VR headsets, iPad and iPhone via the web browser, and other gadgets — with everything streamed over the cloud

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Microsoft executives had debated whether to withhold new Call of Duty releases onto its Game Pass subscription, according to a report in The Verge earlier this month. Some within the company, which is worth $3.12 trillion, feared revenue from the next Call of Duty release would be undermined by the subscription model.

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War will not appear on PlayStation's answer to Xbox Game Pass, known as PS Plus Premium, which costs £13.49 per month. As such, PS4 and PS5 players will need to buy a standalone copy of the game from the PS Store or retailers like Amazon, GAME, Currys, and AO.com.

Before its acquisition by Microsoft, game developer Activision would sell copies of each new Call of Duty instalment for £69.99, shifting around 20 million copies on average each year.

Microsoft is expected to confirm plans to bundle Call of Duty to the 34 million Game Pass subscribers worldwide during the next Xbox showcase, which will be streamed online on June 9, 2024. It's unclear whether Microsoft will charge extra to access Call of Duty or whether it will raise Xbox Game Pass Ultimate prices.

Microsoft last raised prices for Game Pass subscribers in July 2023.

The next Call of Duty game will reportedly be set during the '90s Gulf War. The title, set to be released under the Black Ops sub-brand, will be developed by Treyarch, which last worked on Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War from 2020. A survival Call of Duty: Zombies mode is also expected to make the cut in the new entry.

The team at Treyarch is expected to host an event around the new Call of Dutygame after the Xbox showcase on June 9. Microsoft has already confirmed the existence of a second live steam, but it has redacted the title of the event in all marketing materials.

In total, 15 of the last Call of Duty games launched in November, while the remaining 5 in the best-selling franchise arrived on store shelves in October. As such, we'd expect the next first-person shooter to release within a similar window — the same time of year targetted by GTA 6 after its release was confirmed.

soldiers pictured in the red smoke with gun from call of duty warzone

Until now, Call of Duty retailed at £69.99 with each new release and sells roughly 20 million copies

ACTIVISION | MICROSOFT

Aside from the next Call of Duty, the Xbox showcase next month will focus on a number of other titles coming to Game Pass, including Microsoft Flight Simulator 2024, Avowed, and Indiana Jones and the Great Circle. Microsoft will purportedly confirm that development has started on a new Gears of War title.

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