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Call Of Duty: Black Ops 6 On Game Pass Could Be A "Concern" For Sony, Analyst Says

Black Ops 6 will be available on Game Pass at launch, and that's a big change from the past.


Call of Duty: Black Ops 6 will launch on Xbox Game Pass, meaning subscribers can play the game at no extra cost. This is a big change for the series, and many are wondering how it will all shake out for consumers and for the Xbox business. All of this remains to be seen, but analyst Piers Harding-Rolls has now weighed in with his thoughts on how the move could shake things up, including how the move could be a "concern" for Sony.

He said in a piece published on that Black Ops 6 on Game Pass will encourage people to sign up for Game Pass and bring lapsed subscribers back into the fold, and that most of the new subscribers will sign up for Game Pass Ultimate or PC Game Pass.

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Putting a big game like Black Ops 6 on Game Pass will no doubt be "expensive" for Microsoft, Harding-Rolls said, but it could be a smart move in the long run. The analyst outlined a number of reasons for how putting Black Ops 6 on Game Pass could lead to an uptick in revenue, starting with how it could drive upsell to the more Game Pass Ultimate from Game Pass Console to increase the average revenue per user.

Harding-Rolls also said people may opt to purchase the more-expensive versions of Black Ops 6 to play early, instead of waiting for Black Ops 6 to come to Game Pass on its traditional launch date. Activision historically lets people play the campaign early by purchasing a more expensive version of the game, and while the details remain unconfirmed for Black Ops 6, it seems like the company would do the same.

Harding-Rolls also pointed out how with Starfield, Microsoft sold a $35 upgrade option so Game Pass subscribers could play early. Harding-Rolls said this worked well for Starfield and could help "boost premium revenue streams" for Black Ops 6 as well.

Additionally, Harding-Rolls mentioned how Black Ops 6 is likely to carry forward Call of Duty's heavy microtransaction offerings. So while Microsoft might miss out on some premium full-game sales due to Game Pass, the tradeoff is a potentially larger audience to sell microtransactions to.

Regarding the effect putting Black Ops 6 on Game Pass could have on PlayStation 5, Harding-Rolls said people who play Call of Duty on PlayStation will "inevitably be disrupted to an extent," and that this will be "a concern for Sony."

That said, Harding-Rolls mentioned how Call of Duty also has the free battle-royale game Warzone, and this means "the disruption will not be as significant as it might have been in the past when all revenue from a content point of view was centered on premium sales."

For people who own both an Xbox and a PlayStation console, they might be encouraged this year more than ever to play on Xbox due to Game Pass, Harding-Rolls said. But thanks to things like multiplatform accounts, people can always switch back or move between systems easily than before.

"Indeed, there could be scenarios where PlayStation-first multi-console gamers switch to Xbox to play the premium campaign while still playing the free-to-play Warzone on their preferred console under a single Activision account," Harding-Rolls said.

Black Ops 6 is rumored to launch on October 25. The release date and other information should be announced at the Black Ops 6 Direct on June 9, so keep checking back with GameSpot for more.

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