Microsoft's submission to the UK's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) (opens in new tab)

In a footnote let's slip away the reason for Call of Duty's absence from the Xbox Game Pass library:

There is a deal between Sony and Activision Blizzard that restricts the game. Attendance in service.

The footnote appears in a section detailing the potential benefits to consumers (from Microsoft's point of view) of the upcoming Activision Blizzard catalog of Game Pass.

In it, Microsoft says it is in a position to go ahead with its $68 billion acquisition (opens in new tab)

plans to honor existing contractual obligations that Activision Blizzard may have with other platforms".

What are those existing contractual obligations? Why," the agreement between Activision Blizzard and Sony

Activision Blizzard's ability to keep COD titles on Game Pass for several year

keeps. It was clearly these types of agreements that Xbox's Phil Spencer had in mind (opens in new tab)

That's when he spoke to Sony bosses in January and confirmed Microsoft's "intent to honor all existing agreements on the acquisition of Activision Blizzard."

Unfortunately, the footnote ends there, so there isn't much detail about what these restrictions are.