No Activision or Blizzard games will come to Xbox Game Pass this year, Phil Spencer says

Spencer says a Game Pass drop couldn’t be arranged due to the prolonged regulatory process

Activision Blizzard games won’t be coming to Xbox Game Pass until next year due to delays caused by the acquisition’s lengthy, freshly concluded regulatory process.

Phil Spencer, Xbox boss and CEO of Microsoft’s gaming arm, confirmed as much in the latest episode of the official Xbox podcast. 

“When we finished Bethesda, there was this great moment and we were able to put a bunch of the back catalog games and celebrate their history,” Spencer says. “The truth of the matter is, with Activision Blizzard King the regulatory process took so long, and frankly there was a lot of uncertainty in that process until really a week before we closed, when the CMA finally came down to their decision, that we weren’t able to get in and work with, mostly Activision Blizzard in this case, on that back catalog. So now that the deal is closed, we’re starting that work. But there is work, and I think the Activision Twitter handle did put out something that talked about 2024. I think that’s accurate.”

The statement Spencer’s seemingly referring to confirmed that Activision does “not have plans to put [Call of Duty] Modern Warfare III or Diablo 4 into Game Pass this year.” However, this statement preceded the actual closure of the deal, and that was all Activision said at the time, only adding that “once the deal closes, we expect to start working with Xbox to bring our titles to more players around the world.” Spencer’s comments have now ruled out any Activision Blizzard games from hitting Game Pass this year.  

“I would love it if there was some kind of secret celebration drop that’s coming in the next couple of weeks,” Spencer continues. “There’s not. When we think about the new games that are there, I would be straight with people if we were gonna put them in the subscription this year. I know there’ll be some disappointment about that. This acquisition is definitely long-term. The fact we’re not hitting day one with a bunch of games dropping into Game Pass is a little bit of a downer, but I’m very excited about the future.”