Earlier this month, downloadable Xbox One versions were unavailable from multiple online retailers, including Amazon, U.K. retailer GAME and the Xbox Games Store. At the latter, the product's description clarified that it was "available at your local retailer for preorder."
Today, the $59.99 Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 - Pre-Order Edition's descriptions says that purchasers "MAY DOWNLOAD THE GAME FROM XBOX LIVE BEFORE THEN, BUT IT WILL NOT BE PLAYABLE UNTIL 12:01 AM EST ON THE RELEASE DATE." Microsoft's marketplace continues to note that Black Ops 3 is "Available at your local retailer for preorder."
The Xbox Games Store is also selling the Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 Digital Deluxe Edition, a $99.99 option bundled with the game's Season Pass, which includes four post-release packs of downloadable content.
Call of Duty: Black Ops 3's downloadable Xbox One version is still unavailable for purchase through Amazon — though, as before, PlayStation 4 and Windows PC download codes are available for purchase. The game also remains available for downloadable pre-order on the PlayStation Store.
Why Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 disappeared or reappeared in the Xbox Games Store remains a mystery. Reached for comment after its disappearance, a representative for publisher Activision told Polygon that it "did not remove the digital version of Call of Duty: Black Ops III from the Xbox Games Store." The same day, a Microsoft representative told Polygon that the game had been "temporarily removed" from the store and that it was "actively engaged with Activision to return it as soon as possible."
The downloadable Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 - Pre-Order Edition of developer Treyarch's FPS seems to have snuck back into the store as stealthily as it left — and with as little explanation.
Reached for comment this morning, a Microsoft representative told Polygon that the company does "not comment on the specific terms of our arrangements with any our publishing partners, however Call of Duty: Black Ops III is now available again for digital pre-order from the Xbox Store in two versions — the Digital Edition and the Digital Deluxe Edition."
We've also contacted Activision for comment and will update this article with more information as we receive it.
Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 is scheduled for a Nov. 6 release on PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Windows PC, Xbox 360 and Xbox One — though it won't have a campaign on the PS3 and Xbox 360. Press play below to see our impressions of its beta from earlier this year.