Since Microsoft’s recent announcement of the looming acquisition of Activision Blizzard, questions about how exclusivity for the latter’s releases will be handled once the deal is finalized have been asked frequently. Many have wondered if future Call of Duty games, for instance, are going to release exclusively for Xbox and PC, like all other first party Xbox franchises.
Xbox boss Phil Spencer has provided a statement to provide some clarity on that front. Taking recently to Twitter, Spencer revealed that he had “good calls” with “leaders at Sony” this week, during which he confirmed to them Microsoft’s “intent to honor all existing agreements” once Activision Blizzard is acquired, as well as Microsoft’s “desire to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation.”
“Sony is an important part of our industry, and we value our relationship,” Spencer finished. Interestingly, Sony recently also said that the company expects that Microsoft will “abide by contractual agreements and continue to ensure Activision games are multiplatform.”
The wording of Spencer’s statement is still going to be scrutinized, of course. For instance, free-to-play battle royale shooter Call of Duty: Warzone is obviously not going to be taken off PS5 and PS4, which is what Spencer could be referring to when he speaks about Microsoft’s “desire to keep Call of Duty and PlayStation.” But that still gives Microsoft the room to release any new premium, paid Call of Duty entries exclusive to Xbox and PlayStation.
Recently, Spencer also stated that Microsoft doesn’t intend to “pull communities away from PlayStation” following the acquisition, though reports have claimed that once the deal is finalized, “some” Activision Blizzard games will indeed be exclusive to Xbox.
Either way, the acquisition isn’t expected to close until well into 2023, so we probably aren’t going to have clarity on this (and a few other things) until then.
Had good calls this week with leaders at Sony. I confirmed our intent to honor all existing agreements upon acquisition of Activision Blizzard and our desire to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation. Sony is an important part of our industry, and we value our relationship.
— Phil Spencer (@XboxP3) January 20, 2022
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