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Call of Duty: Black Ops 6 to launch on Game Pass, reveal coming June 9

Something to look forward to: After years of rumors, Microsoft has confirmed that it will publicly unveil the next entry in Treyarch’s Call of Duty: Black Ops series immediately after its June 9 Xbox showcase. Recent teasers strongly imply that the game will feature a Gulf War setting, while other rumors regarding gameplay and availability remain unconfirmed.

When Microsoft initially announced that its June 9 Xbox showcase would be followed by a separate presentation for an unnamed game, no one doubted it was Call of Duty. Since Activision recently began unveiling teaser trailers, Microsoft has confirmed the game’s title and plans to release it simultaneously at retail and on Game Pass.

Microsoft’s announcement includes the only verified details regarding Treyarch’s upcoming Call of Duty: Black Ops 6. However, previous rumors have hinted at key aspects of the game. Brief preview trailers seem to confirm reports that the title will at least partially focus on the Gulf War.

The latest trailer depicts early 1990s political figures like Bill Clinton, Margaret Thatcher, George H.W. Bush, and Saddam Hussein making cryptic remarks about truth and lies. Rumors of a Gulf War setting first emerged in 2022 and resurfaced late last year. Black Ops 6 is also rumored to feature a campaign with open-world gameplay, suggesting a significant expansion of the criticized sandbox levels from last year’s Modern Warfare III.

Meanwhile, a leaked GameStop listing includes a PlayStation 4 version, indicating that Black Ops 6 will support last-generation consoles, which are now over a decade old. During the last hardware transition, Call of Duty phased out support for older consoles much more quickly.

Call of Duty: Ghosts launched on the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One in 2013. The following year, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare became the final entry to support the older consoles, lacking a single-player campaign on those systems. A decade later, Activision is set to release its fifth cross-generation Call of Duty, indicating a strong reluctance to abandon old hardware.

That reluctance might stem from player behavior. Insider Gaming’s Tom Henderson noted that nearly half of users playing Call of Duty on PlayStation Network are still on PS4.

Amid this stubbornness regarding platform support, Microsoft’s decision to launch the recently-acquired mega franchise on its subscription service represents the first significant change in the business model for Call of Duty releases in the series’ two-decade history. Launching a $60 (now $70) packaged game every year has made it one of the industry’s biggest revenue drivers, but Microsoft is betting on how many Xbox and PC players will subscribe to Game Pass instead.

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