Activision CEO wouldn't put Call of Duty, other titles on Xbox Game Pass

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (2022)
(Image credit: Activision Blizzard)

What you need to know

  • Microsoft is currently locked in a battle with the FTC in court over its plan to acquire Activision Blizzard King (ABK) for $69b.
  • During an ongoing hearing, Activision CEO Bobby Kotick has stated that he's not interested in putting any of the publisher's games on "multi-game subscription services" like Xbox Game Pass.
  • Activision hasn't formally decided to never put its games on these services, but Kotick says that the company isn't interested in pursuing deals following past experiments.
  • Activision reportedly explored bringing its games to Game Pass in 2020, but ultimately chose not to.
  • In response to a question from Judge Corley, Kotick says Activision and Microsoft can "agree to disagree" about Game Pass post-merger.

It's Day 4 of the big FTC vs. Microsoft hearing over the latter's planned deal to acquire Activision Blizzard King for $69b next month, and Activision CEO Bobby Kotick has made quite a statement.

While speaking at the hearing, Kotick said that Activision currently isn't interested in "multi-game subscription services" like Xbox Game Pass.

“I have a general aversion to the idea of multi-game subscription services," said Kotick. "Maybe part of it is being in Los Angeles and having large, big media companies move their content to these subscription streaming services and the business results have suffered.”

He went on to say that he has no plans to put Call of Duty — Activision's largest and most lucrative franchise and one of the biggest games in the world — on these services. Kotick also noted that while his company has "experimented with a few streaming services," he doesn't plan to make other titles available on them moving forward.

Activision Blizzard King CEO Bobby Kotick. (Image credit: Activision-Blizzard)

With that said, the FTC did note that Activision hasn't made an official decision about these services. “We’d evaluate,” Kotick said about the possibility of the company's games coming to subscription services. “Generally speaking, I don’t believe that a multi-subscription service for games is the best way to enable players to make their investments.”

Activision was reportedly considering putting its titles on Xbox Game Pass in 2020, but "made a decision not to include our games on Game Pass as a subscription service."

"I don’t agree with the idea of a multi-game subscription service as a business proposition going forwards, but we [Activision and Microsoft] can agree to disagree," said Kotick in response to a question from Judge Corley about why he agreed to the merger if he didn't believe services like Game Pass made "commercial sense."

Brendan Lowry

Brendan Lowry is a Windows Central writer and Oakland University graduate with a burning passion for video games, of which he's been an avid fan since childhood. You'll find him doing reviews, editorials, and general coverage on everything Xbox and PC. Follow him on Twitter.