Call of Duty Kills Game Pass

Game Pass has been called the best value in gaming right now. I myself have probably uttered those exact words in conversation a number of times. And I think it’s probably true, for the most part. I mean, considering there is no comparable competition, Game Pass is sort of the best by default.

I don’t even utilize my subscription all that often, yet I still subscribe. Considering a typical game runs you $60, being able to have over a hundred games at one’s disposal for $15 a month — or four months for that same $60 — as long as you play at least one major title in that four-month period, the Game Pass subscription is a no-brainer.

When Microsoft acquired ZeniMax Media, I was excited at the prospect of having access to Bethesda’s lineup via my Game Pass subscription. And that means not only getting to play some of the older titles I missed out on, but also future titles like Starfield (later this year) or The Elder Scrolls VI (in 2050…) And even though Microsoft added all of that amazing content, it managed to stave off any increases to the $15 Ultimate tier subscription price — thus far, at least.

However, with Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard, it seems inevitable that a barrage of triple-A titles will be coming to Game Pass in the near future. I suspect a price hike is in the cards. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon, there will be blood… err, I mean a price hike.

Call of Duty: Vanguard

Personally, I could care less about a majority of Activision Blizzard’s game lineup. So if, for example, Call of Duty were to make its way to Game Pass for a launch-day release of every new installment in the series — or if being a Game Pass subscriber carried with it all of extra COD content previously reserved for Sony’s platform — and that resulted in a price increase? Well, ol’ Julian here would probably opt out of Game Pass altogether.

I would instead hope that Microsoft would see the benefit of adding a new tier to their Game Pass, or even restructuring the pricing tiers to account for those who want everything that’s on offer versus those of us who aren’t interested in subsidizing the service by paying for crap we have no intention of playing.

As it is, I enjoy being able to check out an indie title or some small, under-the-radar game I would otherwise not bat an eye at, simply because they’re available via my monthly subscription. This is how I discovered Neon Abyss and Carrion. It’s how I experienced Lake, and it’s how I eventually plan to play Sable. Even Forza Horizon 5, an open-world racer I would have otherwise ignored outright, got some runtime on my Xbox because of Game Pass. And even though there are a ton of other games on the service that I will never touch, I am okay paying $15 for the content that does speak to me.

But if — or rather, more likely when Microsoft starts charging me for the disservice of having Call of Duty all up in my peanut butter, that’s where I draw the line. The same goes for Blizzard’s content, as I care very little for your Warcrafts and your StarCrafts and what have you.

StarCraft II

So please, Microsoft, for the love of all things good, don’t cram these games down my pass and ask me to pay more for them

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