After the U.K. Competition and Markets Authority's provisional report on the Microsoft and Activision Blizzard sale included a statement from Microsoft that admitted that its Game Pass subscription could sabotage the sale of the titles included in it.
This contradicts what Xbox vice president Phil Spencer said in a 2018 interview with levelup.com, where he said Game Pass increased word-of-mouth sales, where those who don't have Game Pass might pick up a game based on someone who has used it.
Microsoft has announced that word-of-mouth marketing isn't as successful as Spencer anticipated, yet the company admits that the service outperforms sales, although the whole numbers have been removed from the report. Despite this, Microsoft admits that the sale of a game that has been included in Game Pass has dropped somewhat.
According to the report, Microsoft also claimed that its internal analysis showed a [redacted percent] decline in base game sales twelve months after they had purchased Game Pass.
Many of the findings have been redacted from the study, but it appears that Microsoft is admitting that most Game Pass customers don't tend to purchase the games offered on the service, and word-of-mouth isn't spreading far enough to compensate for the lost revenue that Game Pass loses.
Many regulatory bodies in different countries are still investigating the Activision Blizzard and Microsoft sale, and the sale is expected to close sometime in the summer this year if everything goes according to Activision Blizzard's plan. Gamers should know in a few months whether or not the transaction will happen, and whether or not Call of Duty will be left behind in the process.