Xbox Game Pass users blame Call of Duty for price hike and major changes

Noelle Corbett

Microsoft’s major Game Pass changes have users furious, and many are pointing fingers at Call of Duty ahead of Black Ops 6’s announced release on the service.

In addition to raising prices on all tiers, it was announced that Standard tier subscribers will no longer be able to access first-party Xbox releases on day one, removing what has long been one of the major selling points of Game Pass.

This has led many to blame Call of Duty and Activision for the decision, which comes just months before Black Ops 6 is set to release on the service.

Xbox users and Game Pass subscribers were quick to slam the changes, with Twitter/X user SynthPotato dubbing it “the ‘Call of Duty Day 1 tax'” and questioning the value of the continued value of a service that many previously called the best deal in gaming.

Others quickly pointed out that the change to day one releases directly contradicts promises Microsoft made as recently as May 2024, when Black Ops 6 was announced for Game Pass.

One user shared the news along with a video of Xbox President Sarah Bond calling the previous Game Pass strategy “special for Xbox players [and] essential for us” and headline promising that Black Ops 6 wouldn’t be paywalled behind a new tier, which Microsoft told Eurogamer in May.

All this has subscribers furious, especially those who aren’t CoD players. As a Reddit user sarcastically said, “Love that everyone has to pay more to fund COD being on there instead of just continuing to release them like normal and let the people that want to buy purchase it.”

Another comment on the thread reads, “Day one cod doesn’t sound so good now.”

Xbox Game Pass is the latest subscription service to raise prices and make unpopular changes to existing offerings, joining the likes of Twitch and Netflix, the latter of which was widely panned for eliminating its cheapest ad-free tier.