While various regulatory bodies throughout the world have scrutinised Microsoft‘s proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard for anti-competitive elements, Sony has been one of the most outspoken opponents.
Microsoft’s Head of Gaming, Phil Spencer, has once again denied that Call of Duty will become an Xbox exclusive, a claim that has been criticised as potentially devastating to the PlayStation business.
According to Xbox director Phil Spencer, the Call of Duty franchise will continue to be accessible on PlayStation platforms “as long as there is a PlayStation out there to ship to.” Spencer further stated that the company’s arrangement with Sony to keep Call of Duty on PS5 and PS4 “goes much beyond conventional gaming industry agreements.”
This was revealed in September. Sony’s PlayStation CEO, Jim Ryan, openly labelled this arrangement “inadequate,” and Sony later applauded news that the UK’s regulatory bodies will investigate the Microsoft-Activision Blizzard merger.
That would be a repeat of Microsoft’s previous statements, in which they frequently stated their intention to treat Call of Duty similarly to how they treated the immensely popular multiplatform game Minecraft after purchasing it and keeping it that way, making it available on obvious competitors like PlayStation and Nintendo.
An arrangement like that should benefit everyone in theory. It has always been clear where this is all going, and even if Call of Duty does remain on the platform, Sony will be unhappy with the outcome.
Microsoft indicated in a statement that it will honour all existing contracts, but it was unclear whether the Call of Duty series will be available on platforms other than the PC and Xbox. Furthermore, Spencer noted that the Xbox generates revenue from game sales and licencing fees to cover running costs.