Call of Duty will remain on PlayStation, but Activision’s other titles may become exclusives
Ahead of Microsoft's planned acquisition of publisher Activision Blizzard, the company has agreed to keep Call of Duty (COD) on PlayStation. The company's other franchises, on the other hand, are not covered and may become exclusives.
- After Microsoft won its court battle against the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) last week, allowing the company to proceed with its purchase of Activision Blizzard, Xbox head Phil Spencer announced a 10-year binding agreement to keep the COD franchise on PlayStation. One of Sony's main concerns with the acquisition was the potential loss of the shooter franchise, which unintentionally revealed that it generated $1.5 billion in revenue in 2021.
- Despite the new agreement, it is only for COD and does not include any of Activision Blizzard's other IPs such as Overwatch, Crash Bandicoot, Tony Hawk, or Spyro, implying that any future titles may be Xbox exclusives. Crash, Spyro, and Tony Hawk have been specifically linked to PlayStation for years due to their debuts on the platform, leaving some fans concerned about potential exclusivity and referring to the acquisition's approval as allowing Microsoft to have a "monopoly" on the industry.
- Sony was presented with a similar deal in the past, with PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan dismissing it as "inadequate," with Microsoft also offering its rival the ability to release the titles on its PlayStation Plus subscription service, similar to Game Pass, which Sony also dismissed. It claimed that it would allow Microsoft to "drive up the cost" of the game, forcing Sony to either raise the price of Plus or discontinue the series entirely.
- The acquisition can now proceed in the United States after the FTC lost a last-ditch effort to stop it late last week, leaving the UK's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) as the only obstacle. Microsoft will now discuss potential amendments to the agreement with the CMA in order to address the CMA's concerns about the company's control over the cloud gaming market.
More Activision Blizzard news:
- According to Microsoft, Activision Blizzard's decision to pull the Call of Duty (COD) franchise from Steam and make it a Battle.net exclusive for a few years failed to grow both the platform and the series' PC playerbase. Despite the success of Warzone, user numbers remained stagnant, prompting Activision to re-allow the games on Steam.
- Blizzard has confirmed that Diablo IV will not be included in Game Pass after a Brazilian payment app advertised the service using the title. Previously, Microsoft stated that if the acquisition is successful, it will try to add Activision Blizzard's titles to the service.