Diablo 4 and Modern Warfare 3 won’t release on Game Pass till next year at the earliest

Much like a Call of Duty player inching up the stairs behind a wily sniper, Microsoft are closing in on final, final approval of their multi-billion purchase of Activision Blizzard, having more-or-less won over the UK’s competition and markets authority. The company expect to bring it home by 13th October.

Aside from hastening the arrival of a grim future that consists of a giant, mechanised Phil Spencer engaged in a trans-Pacific staring contest with Nintendo, this also means we can expect new and recent behemoths like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 and Diablo 4 on Microsoft’s Game Pass subscription service. But not for a while, it seems.

Activision have popped a statement on the socials in which they hail the completion of the Acti-Microsoft legal nuptials, while admitting that Modern Warfare 3 and Diablo 4 specifically won’t release on Game Pass this year. ” As we continue to work toward regulatory approval of the Microsoft deal, we’ve been getting some questions whether our upcoming and recently launched games will be available via Game Pass,” it reads.

“While we do not have plans to put Modern Warfare III or Diablo IV into Game Pass this year, once the deal closes, we expect to start working with Xbox to bring our titles to more players around the world. And we anticipate that we would begin adding games into Game Pass sometime in the course of next year.”

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Why the wait? Activision aren’t saying, but I imagine it’s to do with the existing contractual obligations. The delay may be to Diablo 4’s advantage, where its Game Pass reception is concerned: the game is in a difficult place right now, with Blizzard recently unveiling a vast platter of quality-of-life adjustments to accompany the forthcoming Season of Blood update.

Call of Duty and Diablo aren’t, of course, the only Activision-Blizzard games Microsoft will snaffle during its latest act of Borg-style assimilation. The game that comes immediately to mind for me is Starcraft 2, which sits at number three on the RPS reader rundown of all-time great strategy games and at 12 on our own ‘official’ best strategy game list.

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