Microsoft has announced the acquisition of Activision Blizzard, and how they choose to handle exclusivity of future games released by the new studios will be one of many ways that that’s likely going to impact the industry in significant ways. So far, Xbox boss Phil Spencer has stated that Microsoft isn’t going to pull communities away from other platforms entirely, while reports have suggested that while “some” Activision games will be exclusive to Xbox, others won’t be.
But what does Sony have to say about all of this? Well, not much- but they do expect Microsoft to abide by cotractual agreements and release future Activision games as multiplatform titles where they’re required to. In a statement to the Wall Street Journal, a Sony spokesperson said, “We expect that Microsoft will abide by contractual agreements and continue to ensure Activision games are multiplatform.”
Of course, the specific of what that will mean remains to be seen, though there is precedent from Microsoft’s side that might give us a clue. Psychonauts 2 released for PS4, Deathloop released as a PS5 consoles exclusive, and GhostWire: Tokyo is going to follow suit, with Microsoft fulfilling those contractual obligations even after finalizing the acquisitions of Double Fine Productions and Bethesda. As such, we can probably expect Diablo 4 to still release on PlayStation, and Overwatch 2 for PlayStation and Switch, while Call of Duty: Warzone is likely going to continue to be supported and updated on PS4 and PS5.
How any other future Activision Blizzard releases are handled is anyone’s best guess though. It is worth noting that Microsoft made many similar statements following the acquisition of Bethesda, though at this point, major upcoming games from that label like Redfall, Starfield, and The Elder Scroll 6 are all confirmed to be releasing for Xbox Series X/S and PC only.
Either way, with the Activision Blizzard acquisition not scheduled to be finalized until 2023, there are likely still going to be plenty of months ahead where these questions will continue to be asked.
Interestingly, following the announcement of Xbox’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard, Sony stock prices began to tumble, losing $20 billion in value. Read more on that through here.