Call of Duty’s inclusion in a gaming subscription service would have a “notable impact on subscriber numbers,” according to a leading analyst.
Piers Harding-Rolls, research director of Ampere Games, told GamesIndustry.biz: “If Call of Duty is added day-and-date to Game Pass, it will have a notable impact on subscriber numbers.
“Additionally, the inclusion of Warzone with added Game Pass perks will help with engagement and retention.
Call of Duty is regular and big enough to provide a meaningful bump to the subscription opportunity, which in turn may result in publishers reviewing their AAA budgets, product, and monetisation strategies”
Modern Warfare II + Warzone 2.0 - PlayStation Advantage Trailer
He also noted: “Activision Blizzard has been inactive in terms of bringing its games to content services so far, so the extent of positive impact is not really known.” While some Call of Duty titles have been included in PlayStation Plus, they are typically a few years older.
Harding-Rolls continued: “It is difficult to say whether this would amount to a tipping point in publisher attitudes towards subscription services. Commercially, there are still lots of question marks in terms of balancing the books for many publishers and the service catalogues are small compared to the broader platform game collections.”
This comments follow reports that Microsoft has offered Sony the rights to offer Call of Duty on its PlayStation Plus subscription service.
Bloomberg claims the offer has been made in an effort to appease the US’s FTC and get Microsoft’s $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard approved.
The publication claims that Microsoft has offered the concession in addition to its 10-year offer to release the franchise on PlayStation consoles. It recently entered a similar agreement with Nintendo.
Bloomberg understands that Sony has yet to accept the deal, as it continues to fight against the merger which would see Microsoft take control of the industry’s largest third party, and one of its largest franchises.
Microsoft giving Sony the ability to include the franchise as part of its subscription offering could be one way to offset the argument that Microsoft would be able to unfairly compete, by offering the world’s biggest multi-platform console game for a small monthly fee in its ecosystem.
Call of Duty, the monolithic shooter franchise that regularly tops the best-selling lists for console games could, theoretically, have become exclusive to Microsoft platforms following this deal.
However, since the announcement of Microsoft’s intention to acquire Activision Blizzard, the company has assured that it wouldn’t lock away the game for at least a decade.