The digital versions of Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 for Xbox One are no longer available for pre-order through the Xbox Games Store or Amazon.com, though neither Microsoft nor Activision are saying why — or when the game might return.
Black Ops 3's digital disappearance on Xbox was spotted by ICXM this week. The outlet noted that while download codes for the PlayStation 4 and Windows PC versions of Black Ops 3 are still available at places like the PlayStation Store, Amazon and Steam, the Xbox One versions had recently gone missing. The game's season pass has also disappeared from U.K. retailer GAME, but only on Xbox.
On Xbox.com, the digital versions of Black Ops 3 are listed for sale as part of a "bundle only." The game's description now says, "Available at your local retailer for preorder." Similar language is used on the Xbox Games Store on Xbox One, though the game was previously available for purchase digitally.
We reached out to Microsoft and Activision for some insight into why the downloadable version of Black Ops 3 had been pulled, but neither company offered an explanation for why it had been pulled.
"Yes, the Call of Duty: Black Ops III pre-order offers have been temporarily removed from the Xbox Store, however we are actively engaged with Activision to return it as soon as possible," a Microsoft spokesperson told Polygon in an email. "In the meantime, fans can pre-order Call of Duty: Black Ops III for Xbox One or Xbox 360 from any of a host of retail partners here. If you've pre-ordered the game from the Xbox Store already you will receive it when it launches on November 6."
When asked for more details, Microsoft offered the following response.
"We do not comment on the specific terms of our arrangements with any of our publishing partners, however we are actively engaged with Activision to return Call of Duty: Black Ops III to the Xbox Store. In the meantime, fans can pre-order Call of Duty: Black Ops III for Xbox One or Xbox 360 from any of a host of retail partners here."
A statement from Activision at least specifies that pulling the digital version of Black Ops 3 wasn't the publisher's move.
"Activision did not remove the digital version of Call of Duty: Black Ops III from the Xbox Games Store," Activision said. "Black Ops III is ready for launch on November 6th and is the most anticipated game of the year. Black Ops III is available for pre-order or pre-purchase through our other retail partners worldwide."
We've reached out to Amazon to see if the online retailer has something to add.
Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 is the first game in Sony and Activision's newly formed exclusivity arrangement. At this year's E3, Sony announced that PlayStation is "the new home of Call of Duty," and that future downloadable content for Black Ops 3 would hit PlayStation consoles first. Previously, Microsoft had timed-exclusive rights to Call of Duty content. Microsoft took that new arrangement in stride, officially.