Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella recently fired off a volley of excitement in the gaming world by highlighting Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (CoD: MW3) during a recent earnings call. Despite not having its day one Xbox Game Pass launch this year, CoD: MW3 is marking its territory in Microsoft's fiscal year as one of the key highlights. The mention of the game marks a significant milestone for Xbox, who now technically owns the Call of Duty franchise.
During his breakdown of the company’s performance, Nadella noted a year-on-year increase in gaming revenue for Xbox by 9%, attributing this success to some of the biggest games of the year. The CEO didn't shy away from applauding the entries, dropping names of Forza Motorsport and CoD: MW3 as strong Xbox first party titles.
His comments indicate a significant shift for the CoD franchise, which may be referred to as a 'first party' franchise for Xbox for the first time. This shift becomes all the more intriguing considering the enormity of the CoD franchise and its impact on the gaming community. However, despite the November release, CoD: MW3 will miss out on an Xbox Game Pass launch, but future entries could indeed make it to the library on day one.
With recent partnerships, Nadella believes Microsoft will add considerable depth to the Xbox content portfolio, introducing 13 billion-dollar franchises – including Candy Crush, Diablo, Halo, Warcraft, Elder Scrolls and Gears of War. In an exciting mention of forthcoming ventures, he stated, "And we are looking forward to one of our strongest first party holiday lineups ever, including new titles like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III and Forza Motorsport."
Apart from commenting on the arguably crucial inclusion of CoD to the Xbox family, the CEO also discussed Bethesda's Starfield, another game that has resonated with fans since its announcement. Showing his appreciation, Nadella acknowledged that the introduction of the new BGS IP led to "a record for the most Game Pass subscriptions added on a single day ever." An impressive feat for the company in a bustling industry that is becoming increasingly competitive.
The wide-ranging discussion and appearance of CoD in Microsoft’s fiscal year results not only highlight the growth, but also the adaptation of the company within the gaming landscape. The CEO's comments serve as an intriguing and noticeable shift in branding as Xbox now owns the Call of Duty franchise. Furthermore, it indicates how Microsoft intends to leverage its robust game library to broaden its horizons in the coming years.
A new era is unfolding in the gaming industry with redefined partnerships and collaborations. How Xbox utilizes its portfolio and what new strategies they concoct to engage their audience, only time will tell. But for now, gamers have much to be excited about, especially with the upcoming release of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.
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