The potential of Microsoft turning Call of Duty into an Xbox-exclusive franchise has been one of the major sticking points for regulators that has held up its proposed $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard, and to allay those concerns, the company has taken numerous steps in recent weeks. It has expressed on numerous occasions that it plans to keep Call of Duty multiplatform, also having signed binding agreements with Nintendo and Nvidia that will see the franchise releasing for their respective platforms for at least the next ten years, with a similar (as of yet untaken) offer also being on the table for Sony.
Now, Microsoft has taken another major step in an effort to convince the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) that the deal should be greenlit. As reported by VGC, in its report published to the CMA, Microsoft says that should the Activision Blizzard acquisition be greenlit, it will allow Sony to put Call of Duty games on PlayStation Plus day and date for the same amount of time that they remain on Game Pass.
“Any CoD Game in a Microsoft multigame subscription is eligible for inclusion in Sony’s multi-game subscription service, at the same time and for the same duration,” Microsoft writes.
Sony, however, has said in response that the offer might not necessarily be to its advantage, saying that it could “commercially destroy” its subscription model. Sony alleges Microsoft would have the power to significantly raise prices of Call of Duty games, which would then force Sony’s hand to raise the prices of its subscription service, or not put Call of Duty on the service at all.
The CMA is set to reach a final decision regarding Microsoft’s proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard by April 26. Industry analysts Nick McKay and Michael Pachter of Wedbush Securities have said that the CMA knows it has a “losing argument”, having previously said that the deal could “harm gamers”, and that it is, as such, likely to be approved.