Microsoft boss Phil Spencer has announced that a new deal will see Call of Duty appear on PlayStation consoles – assuming Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard goes through.
Microsoft has signed a “binding agreement” with Sony that will see Call of Duty continue to appear on PlayStation consoles in the future.
Xbox boss Phil Spencer announced the deal on Twitter a few hours ago, writing, “We look forward to a future where players globally have more choice to play their favorite games.”
Spencer didn’t, at the time, clarify how long the binding agreement would last, but Axios reporter Stephen Tortilo later tweeted that the Call of Duty PlayStation deal would last 10 years.
Sony has confirmed with me/Axios that PlayStation's Call of Duty deal with Microsoft (pending Activision purchase) is for 10 years
I'm looking forward to still being on this beat in 2033 and covering the next round of Nintendo, Nvidia and Sony contract negotiations for CoD) https://t.co/sdMuaccfNV
— Stephen Totilo (@stephentotilo) July 16, 2023
As Spencer himself notes in his tweet, the deal with Sony is dependent on the successful completion of Microsoft’s Activision Blizzard purchase. It’s now looking increasingly likely that the Acti-Blizz buyout will go ahead, with the Federal Trade Commission recently losing its case against Microsoft in US courts, while its subsequent attempt to halt the deal was denied in a court of appeal.
Over in the UK, meanwhile, there are reports that Microsoft is thinking about divesting itself of certain cloud gaming rights in order to appease the Competition and Markets Authority, which blocked the buyout in April. It’s possible that those concessions could allow Microsoft to make a last-minute deal with the CMA; the latter isn’t due to announce its latest ruling until 29 August, having pushed back its own deadline by six weeks.
Microsoft currently has until 18 July to secure its deal with Activision Blizzard, so it’ll no doubt be pushing to get the paperwork signed – with or without the CMA’s approval.
Publicly, Microsoft’s executives sound confident that the deal will go ahead. Company president Brad Smith, according to VGC, recently said, “From Day One of this acquisition, we’ve been committed to addressing the concerns of regulators, platform and game developers, and consumers. Even after we cross the finish line for this deal’s approval, we will remain focused on ensuring that Call of Duty remains available on more platforms and for more consumers than ever before.”
If the deal does indeed go through, PlayStation and Nintendo console owners will continue to be able to enjoy Call of Duty games on their systems until at least 2033. Meanwhile, Activision boss Bobby Kotick will earn something like £375 million if his company gets purchased by Microsoft. So that’s nice.