Call of Duty: Black Ops 6 Is a Hot Topic as Microsoft Raises Xbox Game Pass Prices


Call of Duty: Black Ops 6 has become a heated topic after Microsoft announced it was raising the price of Xbox Game Pass and introducing a up-to-date standard tier that does not include launch day releases.

On July 9, 2024, Microsoft announced a price raise for Xbox Game Pass Ultimate worldwide, from $16.99 to $19.99 per month in the U.S. The price changes will go into effect for up-to-date members on July 10, 2024, and for current members on September 12, 2024.

The $10.99 base Xbox Game Pass Console will also “soon” be replaced by Xbox Game Pass Standard, a $14.99 option that doesn’t include the beloved Launch Day special feature, “specific Game Pass Ultimate library entries,” access to EA Play, Xbox Cloud Gaming, perks, tasks, and discounts on games from the Game Pass library.

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The price of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate last increased in 2023 from $14.99 to $16.99. This means that when you pay $14.99 per month for Xbox Game Pass, you’re getting significantly less than you did a year ago. During that time, Microsoft has essentially removed day-one titles, EA Play, cloud gaming, and free add-ons from the service.

But it’s the lack of day-one titles available on the standard tier that has some fans most disappointed, especially since Call of Duty will finally arrive as an Xbox Game Pass title with Black Ops 6 releasing in 2024, following Microsoft’s $68.7 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard.

Microsoft has been accused of lying about Black Ops 6’s status on Xbox Game Pass, as the company confirmed in May 2024 that the game would be available as a day one title and did not indicate that players would not be able to access it with their current subscriptions.

“Upon launch, Call of Duty: Black Ops 6 will be playable on Xbox consoles and PC with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, PC Game Pass, and Xbox Game Pass for Consoles subscriptions,” Microsoft said at the time.

It’s true, though. Microsoft said Black Ops 6 will be available on Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, PC Game Pass, and Xbox Game Pass Console. What it didn’t say was that the first two titles would go up worldwide or that the last, cheapest tier would become obsolete.

Microsoft couldn’t even guarantee that games like Black Ops 6 would eventually make it to Xbox Game Pass Standard. Those titles “may be added to the library in the future,” it said.

So the suggestion that Black Ops 6 will be available as a $10.99 per month subscription no longer rings true unless you’re already a subscriber to that tier, as up-to-date customers can’t sign up for it. Instead of that $10.99, the cheapest Game Pass tier that Xbox console players can access Black Ops 6 through right now is the upgraded Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, for $19.99 per month.

Fans are therefore a bit frustrated and many of them have announced that they intend to cancel their Xbox Game Pass subscriptions once their current subscription ends.

“No, no, we are not changing Game Pass, we are not raising prices, putting Black Ops 6 on Game Pass did not change the prices of Game Pass” – mocked @CODWarfareForum on X/Twitter. “Two months later: Oh yeah, we lied again, we’re increasing Game Pass subscribers and changing tiers.”

“Xbox Game Pass prices will increase by 25% ahead of the launch of Call of Duty: Black Ops 6,” he said @GNGNewsCOD“The new Xbox Game Pass prices are basically a ‘Call of Duty day one tax,’ and it’s really getting crazy how expensive subscriptions are getting for both PlayStation and Xbox,” he added. @SynthPotato“It’s official, despite previous assurances that the standard version of Xbox Game Pass will not include day one titles like the next Call of Duty, Doom, or Indiana Jones,” he said. @oliver_drk.

Others said they expected the release of Black Ops 6 to raise Game Pass prices, though they aren’t necessarily cheerful about it. “It makes too much sense… COD coming,” SnatcherHunter said on Reset Era“The first day of COD doesn’t sound so good anymore,” ChEmIcAl_KeEn said on Reddit.

“I thought it would happen in September before Call of Duty. Monthly costs are going up,” he said @Otikagto me on X/Twitter. “The price increase was predictable though, all studios had to deal with it. I’m sure the price will increase with more acquisitions.”

Rumors of an raise have been circulating since May 2024, essentially since Microsoft announced that Black Ops 6 would be a day-one title. The price raise also comes after Microsoft shuttered entire studios, including Hi-Fi Rush and Ghostwire Tokyo developer Tango Gameworks and Redfall developer Arkane Austin.

Ryan Dinsdale is a freelance reporter for IGN. He’ll be talking Witcher all day long.

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