Xbox owners who booted up their consoles this week might have seen a giant takeover advertisement for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III, in what is the latest example of Microsoft highlighting a key title in a major way.
GameSpot editors and people across social media noticed that Xbox consoles booted up not directly to the Home screen like usual, but instead to an advertisement for Modern Warfare III. The ad directs people to buy Modern Warfare III from the store. The ad’s arrival was seemingly tied to the November 2 launch of Modern Warfare III’s campaign via early access for those who preorder.
Players can go to the Home screen by pressing the “Exit” button, but many were surprised and upset to see such a major advertisement for a game they might not have any interest in. Microsoft also launched a similar gigantic takeover ad for Starfield back in September. For Modern Warfare III, the takeover ad appeared even if you already purchased the game.
Anyone else turn on their Xbox to find an ad for MW3? Or is it just me? pic.twitter.com/f2mAvV59bM
— JBs Gaming Clips (@JBsGamingClips) November 2, 2023
WindowsCentral reports that the Modern Warfare III ad is age-restricted and does not appear if you’re signed into an under-18 account. Modern Warfare III is rated M by the ESRB.
Xbox director of integrated marketing Josh Munsee reminded people on social media that Starfield also had a giant takeover ad. Munsee added, “Totally get CoD drawing attention with acquisition closing.”
Microsoft now owns Call of Duty following its $68.7 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard. However, Modern Warfare III is not coming to Game Pass until 2024 at the soonest. Not only that, but the game has PlayStation-exclusive content presumably due to a contract between Activision and Sony that was in place prior to Microsoft closing its deal for Activision.