After clearing all its hurdles and ducking through all the hoops, Microsoft has finally closed its deal on acquiring Activision Blizzard, opening the door for a swathe of games to be added to Game Pass for subscribers to enjoy for free. While it’s not clear exactly what order they’re gonna make their way to the subscription service, here’s the 10 Activision Blizzard games that we expect are going to come to Game Pass first.
Xbox released a trailer showing plenty of characters old and new to the Xbox family, celebrating the closure of the deal that’s likely to bring many of these characters together on Game Pass. It isn’t certain just which of the games are going to be hitting the service first, but they’ve got quite the selection to choose from.
Given that Overwatch 2 is already free-to-play on any platform, it could go either way as to whether or not it gets added to the list of games on Game Pass. It could be seen as redundant to put it on there because you don’t have to pay for it as it is, and adding it might start to feel like you have pay for the subscription to play a game that was free anyway.
On the other hand, adding it to Game Pass would at the very least probably enable Cloud Gaming for Overwatch 2. That way, you could play it without downloading it if you’re paying for a Game Pass subscription. Either way, the promotional material for Xbox’s programming is certainly gonna start leaning on the use of Overwatch characters from here on out, just because they can. Maybe we’ll get some sweet Xbox themed skins in-game too.
World of Warcraft
It’s times like this where you wonder, “Did Xbox launch PC Game Pass solely so that they could put WoW on their service?” I can’t say anything for sure, but it only seems like a natural next step to find some way to incorporate World of Warcraft now that they’ve acquired Blizzard. Not only is it one of the most recognizable names in gaming, but there’s also tons of room to expand further under the Xbox umbrella.
With WoW already functioning on a monthly-cost basis, it’s not super clear how this might then be incorporated into Game Pass. They could just add another pricing tier that costs more and includes a WoW subscription, or they could just add the game to the Game Pass app, let you load up the launcher from there and leave the payment process the same. Regardless, only time will tell.
Sign. Me. Up. Not only could Xbox likely get plenty of music fans to sign up for Game Pass, but they could also probably make a killing off of some official Xbox guitar controllers. I’m not sure how the licensing might work out between all of those artists and Xbox, but that might be something that’s already squared away in contracts regarding the songs in the game to begin with.
I’m not saying they’ve got to go crazy making new Guitar Hero games for the newer generations, they could get away with just throwing the old games up on the service and letting fans rock out to the games that they grew up on. If there were enough life breathed back into the franchise, there could come to be a new age of Guitar Hero…but I might be getting carried away.
Woah! Not only is Game Pass just a great place for platformers, but it’s a great place for an entire series. Enter Crash Bandicoot. Being on the service could make it super accessible to play through all the games in the series and watch them evolve over time, and then you can be ready for whenever the next game might release. Not to mention, Game Pass loves Day One releases.
With Crash Team Rumble also being focused around seasons, Game Pass would make a great home that could come with certain exclusive rewards and benefits. While it may not be everyone’s favorite format for gaming, the “seasons” certainly seem to be the trend in how games structure their new content releases, similar to Overwatch 2. Who knows, maybe a few special skins could be in order here too?
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2
One of the fastest ways to my heart is through a good, old fashioned street skating session and Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater might be the next best way to get one. Skate 3 is already on Game Pass and provides a great skating experience, but the remake of Pro Skater 1+2 would serve as some excellent competition and would bring some variety to the service.
While there are likely not going to be any new Pro Skater games being released, Game Pass is capable of revitalizing a game and its player base just based off of accessibility alone. Especially for those who aren’t sure about that $40 price tag, now the decision to give the classic skating games a shot would become much easier for players to make.
Although Activision said that they weren’t going to add Diablo 4 to Game Pass until next year, Xbox can still make some room on its roster in preparation. There are already quite a few Diablo titles and expansions on the Xbox Marketplace, so bumping them over to Game Pass doesn’t seem like such a bad idea, especially prior to the addition of the fourth game. There’s a huge player base, one which would only grow significantly with a fresh batch of Game Pass subscribers to join in.
Game Pass acts as a great hub for games that players might be intimidated to spend the full price on without trying first, and Diablo can tend to be one of those games. ARPGs can sometimes be hit or miss depending on the person and the game, but being on a subscription service that you’re already paying for means the only consequence to not liking the game is only the storage it took up.
Similar to World of Warcraft, I wouldn’t be surprised if PC Game Pass was formed with the intention of having Starcraft to put on there one day. For a game that came out over 13 years ago, to see as much activity still in the game as there is proves Blizzard’s ability to keep a game alive and interesting. It’s going to be up to Xbox now to maintain that same level of interest and maybe bring something new to the table.
Given the fact that the game is already free-to-play, Game Pass could just serve as a hub to get into the game, or it could be a place to house the expansions, which can be bought separately or as a bundle as is. If you get a chance to play Starcraft and can’t get enough, this would be a great way to get more of the same game for a steal.
The perfect arcade game for a service like Game Pass, Spyro features platforming, puzzle solving and calming exploration. It’s a great game for just picking up and putting down sporadically, but if the Reignited Trilogy were added to Game Pass, it would be a great way to expose a new audience to the franchise all at once.
It’s nice when games are already grouped into a trilogy or collection of some of their different titles, because it makes it easier for fans to get invested in the series. Sure, they could throw all of the Spyro games onto Game Pass all at once, but having them mostly bundled up together in purple and orange gift wrap makes it all the more sweet.
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
When it comes down to a FromSoftware game, there’s a certain learning curve to figuring out a rhythm before getting good or progressing further. However, sometimes that learning curve can be so tough that you need to take a step back from the game and put it down. Unfortunately if you paid the full price for the game, you might feel obligated to beat your head against that wall until you break through it.
If Sekiro were available on Game Pass, it would likely have a large number of players who wanted to try it but weren’t willing to commit starting to give it a go. With that, there’s sure to be plenty of people who found that the game was exactly what they were looking for, and might even decide to give some other FromSoftware games a shot. Overall, seems pretty good for business.
Call of Duty
There it is: the big one. Call of Duty has enough games to pad the Game Pass Roster all on its own, even without the games not published by Activision. There are more than a few times that I want to go back and play some of the older Call of Duty games just to revisit the campaigns or the zombies modes. If they’re on Game Pass all together, I could have a field day, or twenty.
Activision did come out and say that they aren’t going to be adding the new Modern Warfare onto Game Pass until next year, but their wording made it seem as though there are certainly plans to move at least a few games onto the service. This process could still take until the onset of 2024, but given that Modern Warfare 3 releases so close to the end of the year anyway, they probably want to give it some time to breathe before making the handoff to Xbox.