Call of Duty on PlayStation Plus and Game Pass May Revive the Game Subscription Market

So, how can video game console makers increase interest in their subscription services?

Since this year has been particularly challenging for the subscription business model, Microsoft‘s proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard may help revive the sagging video game subscription market. 

About 25 million people are paying for Microsoft’s Game Pass, which is ten million fewer than the company predicted it would have by the end of the fiscal year in March 2022. Sony, on the other hand, has merged PlayStation Plus and PlayStation Now into a single service. However, that, too, saw a decrease in subscribers, this time by about two million people. This indicates that the decline was not limited to a single company, but rather affected the entire market.

Analysts now claim that Microsoft’s acquisition would in fact be a helpful tool in reviving the game subscriptions market. In an interview with Piers Harding-Rolls, research director of Ampere Games, he claims:

“If Call of Duty is added day-and-date to Game Pass, it will have a notable impact on subscriber numbers. Additionally, the inclusion of Warzone with added Game Pass perks will help with engagement and retention.”

Harding-Rolls argues that the subscription business requires new premium game releases to thrive rather than relying solely on games from the past. For this reason, Microsoft has been busy acquiring studios like Bethesda, which continually releases new games.

Premium games will continue to exist of course, especially the biggest titles, but I do think there is an inherent tension between these monetisation models, which is really only strongly evident in the AAA games market, centred on console,”

Since Activision Blizzard has been slow to add their games to content services, it is unclear how the acquisition will affect Game Pass. He seemed to be implying that Microsoft made a mistake by adding some older Call of Duty titles to Game Pass.

These remarks come after rumors circulated that Microsoft had offered Sony the rights to distribute Call of Duty via the PlayStation Plus membership service. Microsoft made the offer to the FTC in an effort to win their approval for their $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard. (that obviously didn’t work out)

According to Bloomberg, Sony still hasn’t accepted the deal, and the company is actively opposing the merger that would give Microsoft control of the largest third party in the industry as well as one of its most lucrative franchises. It however remains to be seen how the deal pans out in the end.

Leave your thoughts on the situation and whether you think Microsoft would gain an unfair advantage from the acquisition, or whether the benefits Microsoft offers PlayStation are enough to prevent Microsoft from growing at Sony’s expense.


Farhan Ali

Farhan is a passionate writer with an undying love for games, PC hardware, and technology. With nearly 5 years of experience in blogging and over 14 years of experience in gaming, this is what he loves and does best.
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