Should we listen to the rumours that EA and DICE's Battlefield will launch later this year on Microsoft's Xbox Game Pass?
EA and DICE looks like they're rolling out the tanks for a potentially major collaboration with Microsoft for Battlefield 6. Hoping to pick up from the commercial disappointment of 2018's Battlefield V, the developer has promised a truly next-gen game that aims to prove the long-running shooter still has the chops to stand up to Call of Duty. Apart from confirmation we'll be adding more players to the warzone, there's literally no news on Battlefield 6 - just a bunch of rumours. The latest is a doozy, that claims Battlefield 6 will be on the Xbox Game Pass from day one.
Even though DICE has officially announced Battlefield 6, and we know the ambitious title is on the way for the end of the year, details are thin on the ground. Only recently, EA delayed the new Need For Speed by a whole year so developers Criterion Games can help on the next Battlefield. Alongside whispers that we'll ditch the staple setting of the 20th Century in favour of a more modern affair (featuring futuristic drones), reports that Battlefield 6 could get a Day One launch on Xbox Game Pass is massive.
What's the Battlefield 6 Xbox Game Pass rumour?
The latest scoop comes from Shpeshal Ed during a recent episode of TheXboxEra podcast. Here, the known leaker said, "There is a third party, Triple-A, first-person shooter that is very highly likely to be launching in Game Pass this fall". There aren't many games that would fit that description anyway, which has led to the assumption Shpeshal Ed has the inside track on Battlefield 6. Of course, the other option could be the tentatively titled Call of Duty: Vanguard.
In the podcast, XboxEra Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief Jon Clarke explained the two games that fit the bill of a "triple-A, third party, first-person shooter" in 2021 are Call of Duty and Battlefield. Given that Activision has a history of PlayStation-exclusive content, we can't see CoD jumping ship from Sony to its biggest rival. Added to this, the runaway success of Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War and Warzone on all platforms means it wouldn't make sense to put Call of Duty 2021 on the Xbox Game Pass. Clarke concluded, "My other bet would be Battlefield 6 because the EA Play relationship already exists, and I’m sure Microsoft are sharing lots and lots of lovely numbers on what it does for a player base when you’ve got 20 million people immediately available to play your game".
Will Battlefield 6 launch on Xbox Game Pass?
While rumours are still unsubstantiated, it makes perfect sense that Battlefield 6 is the mystery game coming to Game Pass. There was the suggestion Turtle Rock Studios' Back 4 Blood could match this cryptic description, however, the group couldn't agree whether it counts as a AAA release. Microsoft already has a healthy relationship with EA thanks to EA Play. As of late last year, the subscription service was bundled with Xbox Game Pass as part of a bigger package. Considering the first five Battlefield games are included in this, there's plenty to link Battlefield 6 to a Game Pass launch.
Following Shpeshal Ed's claims, Battlefield leaker Tom Henderson tweeted a nodding Robert Redford gif and threw fuel on the fire that Battlefield 6 could get a Day One Xbox Game Pass launch. Then again, maybe he simply approves of the idea?
If this is the case, it's the latest Microsoft move into gaming domination. The massive acquisition of Bethesda means a tonne of major IPs like Fallout and The Elder Scrolls are already part of the Game Pass. There's also the idea that future Bethesda games could launch as Xbox exclusives. If not, Microsoft is already tipped as being the first place you'll be able to play these games. Battlefield 6 coming to Xbox Game Pass before anywhere else is a smart move to make when you look at Call of Duty's various PlayStation partnerships. For now though, the jury's out on whether Battlefield 6 will be able to live up to the hype DICE has inadvertently generated with all those rumours.
Images via EA DICE | Microsoft