Microsoft's planned blockbuster buyout of Activison Blizzard is the biggest gaming story of the year, and now Xbox boss Phil Spencer has revealed a bit more about his plans for the company should the deal pass.
In a blog post on Microsoft's website, Spencer revealed that Xbox intends to put Activision properties such as 'Call Of Duty,' 'Diablo', and 'Overwatch' to the Game Pass.
Spencer says that should the deal pass the necessary legal hurdles, he plans to "expand player choice in two ways: through the creation of Game Pass, which gives players a subscription option; and by bringing more games to mobile platforms, including through our cloud game streaming technology."
"Subscription services like Game Pass make gaming more affordable and help players from all over the world find their next favorite game. Game Pass empowers developers to bring more games to more players, not fewer. "
"We intend to make Activision Blizzard’s much-loved library of games – including 'Overwatch,' 'Diablo', and 'Call of Duty' – available in Game Pass and to grow those gaming communities. By delivering even more value to players, we hope to continue growing Game Pass, extending its appeal to mobile phones and any connected device."
Spencer reiterated that 'Call Of Duty' games would not become Xbox exclusives as part of the deal, which has been a major point of contention with anti-competition watchdogs in Brazil and the United Kingdom.
"We’ve heard that this deal might take franchises like Call of Duty away from the places where people currently play them. That’s why, as we’ve said before, we are committed to making the same version of 'Call of Duty' available on PlayStation on the same day the game launches elsewhere."
Industry pundits have noted that PlayStation comfortably outsells the Xbox in sales, and it would not make sense for Microsoft to extinguish an incredibly lucrative source of revenue now that 'Call Of Duty' has microtransactions and a live service element.
Spencer noted that 'Minecraft' is still available to play on non-Xbox consoles despite developer Mojang being brought out by Microsoft in 2014.
The proposed deal has come under the spotlight in recent weeks as the proposed deal passes through various government anti-competition bodies, and the deal needs to be signed off by these regulators in major markets such as the US, Europe and South America before the deal is allowed to conclude.
"We will continue to engage with regulators with a spirit of transparency and openness as they review this acquisition," Spencer stated, adding "we respect and welcome the hard questions that are being asked."
"We believe that a thorough review will show that the combination of Microsoft and Activision Blizzard will benefit the industry and players."
While it is too soon to ascertain if the upcoming 'Modern Warfare 2' would be made available on Game Pass, securing a major coup by bringing the best-selling franchise to the service would be sure to turbocharge subscriptions.