Tuesday January 31, 2023

Sony expects Microsoft to ‘continue to ensure’ Activision games stay multiplatform

Sony responded to Microsoft’s proposal to buy Activision Blizzard by commenting on what it might mean for future Call of Duty games on PlayStation consoles. According to a spokesperson, “We expect that Microsoft would abide by contractual agreements” and that Activision would continue to ensure that Activision games are multiplatform. This statement is not definitive. It is not surprising that Sony would expect Microsoft, in relation to PlayStation games, to honor any existing contractual agreements. This was the case when Deathloop, a PS5 exclusive, was released following Microsoft’s acquisition. Microsoft can now pursue Xbox exclusive rights for many of the franchises it acquires once existing agreements are up for renewal.
Call of Duty is the big question. The franchise is immensely popular on both Xbox and PlayStation. However, Sony has had a Call of Duty marketing agreement with Activision for more five years. Andrew House, former PlayStation CEO, stated that PlayStation was the new home of Call of Duty during Sony’s E3 2015 press conference. In November, Sony revealed that Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War was second on the list of most-played PS5 games for the entire 2021 period. Fortnite was only behind it. NPD also revealed that Call of Duty occupied both the top two spots in US game sales for the entire 2021. This highlights its impact on the market.
Sony will have no control over Call of Duty’s future on PlayStation after the Activision Blizzard deal with Microsoft closes. Starfield was made exclusive to Xbox and PC by Microsoft’s Bethesda purchase. Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer hinted that The Elder Scrolls VI would also be exclusive to Xbox.
Spencer stated earlier this week that activision Blizzard games can be enjoyed on a variety platforms and that they plan to continue supporting those communities moving forward. It’s easy for us to envision a future in which Microsoft maintains Call of Duty Warzone across multiple platforms. However, any future Call of Duty titles will be exclusive to Xbox. Microsoft isn’t spending $68.7billion to keep publishing PlayStation games forever.

Back to Top
%d bloggers like this: