A lot has been made of Xbox’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard since it was announced that the platform-holder would be purchasing the massive publisher for a whopping $69 billion, and one of several questions that has been asked frequently (and will continue to be asked frequently for several more months) is how Microsoft is going to handle the exclusivity of future Activision releases– more specifically, how Call of Duty will be handled.
Xbox boss Phil Spencer recently stated that Microsoft was committed to keeping Call of Duty on PlayStation, while Sony remains confident that Microsoft will abide by contractual agreements that are already in place with Activision. Now, a report published by Bloomberg has potentially shed more light on what that’s going to mean for the next year or so.
Reportedly, Activision had already committed to a deal with Sony several weeks before the Xbox acquisition, which will see them releasing the next few Call of Duty games on PlayStation as well as Xbox. This will include the rumoured Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 due out this year, an in-development Call of Duty: Warzone 2, and the 2023 Call of Duty title currently in development at Treyarch. According to known insider Tom Henderson, both Warzone 2 and Treyarch’s Call of Duty game are going to skip PS4 and Xbox One and release for new-gen consoles and PC only.
Of course, Xbox’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard likely isn’t going to be finalized until next year, so any Activision titles coming out before then are unlikely to be exclusive to Xbox in any case. What happens after that and once contractual obligations are done and dusted is anyone’s best guess. According to the Bloomberg report, Microsoft is likely to make the biggest Activision franchises exclusive to its platforms in the future, though that’s far enough away in the future right now that things still aren’t entirely clear.
Meanwhile, recent reports have also claimed that following Xbox’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard, the Call of Duty series could move away from its annual release cycle. Read more on that through here.