Diablo 4 is coming to Xbox Game Pass this March, more Activision Blizzard games to follow [UPDATED]

Diablo 4
(Image credit: Activision Blizzard)

What you need to know

  • Diablo 4, Blizzard Entertainment's latest entry in its beloved ARPG franchise, is headed to Xbox Game Pass on March 28.
  • Other Activision Blizzard games are coming to Xbox Game Pass in the future as well, though currently, we don't know which ones or when they'll be added.
  • The news came in a highly anticipated "Update on the Xbox Business" video in which several Xbox executives, including Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer, laid out Microsoft's plans and business strategies for Xbox moving forward.
  • In said video, Spencer also confirmed that four Xbox games are heading to other platforms like PlayStation 5. Two of them are smaller titles, while two are large "community-driven games."
  • Update: Microsoft has reportedly clarified that only subscribers to Xbox Game Pass or Xbox Game Pass Ultimate will have access to Diablo 4 once it comes to the subscription service. Xbox Game Pass Core subscribers will not be able to play without purchasing it fully.

Update 2/15/2024 at 6:10 p.m. PT / 9:10 p.m. ET: Microsoft has clarified that only Xbox Game Pass for Console and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers will be able to play Diablo 4 through Game Pass, as reported by The Verge's Tom Warren. Xbox Game Pass Core, the tier of the service that replaced Xbox Live Gold last year and offers access to console multiplayer as well as a very limited selection of games, will not include Diablo 4 access.

There are those that said this day would never come, but here we are: Microsoft has revealed that Diablo 4, last year's hugely popular entry in Blizzard Entertainment's iconic ARPG series, is coming to its Xbox Game Pass subscription service on March 28.

Notably, this is just about two weeks before April 16, 2024, which is when Diablo 4 Season 3 is expected to end and Season 4 is likely to begin. Windows Central's Managing Editor Jez Corden has said that he's been told Season 4 is "the big one," so the game's Game Pass release date might end up being one of the best times for new players to jump into Diablo 4.

The news came in a highly anticipated "Update on the Xbox Business" video that Microsoft announced last week and released today amid swirling rumors about the death of Xbox-exclusive games. In it, Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer, Xbox president Sarah Bond, and Game Content and Studios president Matt Booty discussed the company's Xbox plans and business strategies moving forward.

Notably, Sarah Bond also confirmed that other Activision Blizzard games are coming to Xbox Game Pass as well — the publisher and all of its games are now under Microsoft's umbrella, after all — though she didn't mention which titles will appear on the service specifically. I suspect we'll learn more in the near future, however, especially once Diablo 4 becomes available for subscribers. Could we see Call of Duty on Game Pass? If you ask me, it's definitely a possibility.

Additionally, Phil Spencer confirmed that four Xbox games are headed to PlayStation 5 and Nintendo Switch during this roundtable chat. Though he didn't name which games these are since he would prefer to let their developers make the announcements, Spencer did note that two of the games were smaller titles that "were never really meant to be built as platform exclusives," while the other two are larger "community-driven games." Also, all of them are over a year old, and none of the games are Starfield or the upcoming MachineGames' Indiana Jones adventure title, which are two of Xbox's largest exclusive projects in recent years.

Analysis: Great news for Xbox gamers

Diablo 4's classes around a very cozy campfire. (Image credit: Blizzard Entertainment)

While I can't exactly blame people for doubting Microsoft's handling of Xbox, all that drama from last week turned out to be a gigantic nothingburger. In fact, this video is more positive than anything else, as Xbox has exciting plans for future hardware, has been extremely selective with what games it's bringing to other platforms, and is adding Activision Blizzard games like Diablo 4 and others to Game Pass in the near future.

Can you imagine games like Call of Duty, Diablo II: Resurrected, or — dare I even suggest it? — even World of Warcraft on Game Pass? Only time will tell if these specific games end up on the service, of course, but it's an exciting thought.

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.