Microsoft’s proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard is currently being scrutinized by authorities all over the world, and specifically in the UK, concerns over lessened competition have been brought up. Unsurprisingly, Call of Duty and the possibility of it becoming exclusive to Xbox have been at the center of it all, but Microsoft has once again provided assurances that should the acquisition go through, it does not intent to take Call of Duty titles off PlayStation.
Speaking in a recent interview with Same Brain, Xbox boss Phil Spencer reiterated that Xbox intends to keep releasing Call of Duty titles for PlayStation platforms as long as PlayStation is still around, not unlike how the company has continued to handle Minecraft in the years since its acquisition.
“We’re not taking Call of Duty from PlayStation,” Spencer said. “That’s not our intent. As long as there is a PlayStation out there to ship to, our intent is that we continue to ship Call of Duty on PlayStation, similar to what we’ve done with Minecraft since we owned that. We’ve expanded the places where people can play Minecraft, we haven’t reduced the places, and it’s been good for the Minecraft community, in my opinion. And I want to do the same as we think about where Call of Duty can go over the years.”
In September, Spencer revealed that Microsoft had provided a signed agreement to Sony that committed to keeping Call of Duty on PlayStation for “several years” beyond its existing agreement with Activision (which, as per reports, runs until 2025). Shortly afterward, PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan publicly criticized the proposal, which he revealed only extended for three years beyond the existing deal, and was deemed “inadequate on many levels”.
Ryan has since then also reportedly personally visited the European Union headquarters in Brussels to voice concerns over Microsoft’s proposed Activision acquisition. Given the massive amounts of money Call of Duty continues to make on PlayStation every year, Sony’s discomfort with the deal is not hard to understand. The recently-released Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, for instance, has just seen the biggest ever PlayStation Store launch for the series to date.
Microsoft has insisted on several occasions that it intends to keep releasing Call of Duty games as multiplatform releases. Recently, Spencer remarked that he would even like to see Call of Duty on the Nintendo Switch at some point in the future.
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