Gamers globally can heave a sigh of relief as the tussle surrounding Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard and the resulting fate of Call of Duty seems to be nearing a resolution.
In January 2022, Microsoft unveiled its plan to buy Activision Blizzard in a jaw-dropping $68.7 billion deal. The initial optimism for a swift conclusion soon gave way to apprehension as roadblocks emerged, notably from US and UK market regulators. Because of antitrust concerns, the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) tried to cancel the deal between the two companies. Despite this legal setback, Microsoft continued to push forward with its cloud gaming technology, with just the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) standing in its way.
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Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Official Launch Trailer
Sony, another potent adversary of the deal, spearheaded by PlayStation chief Jim Ryan, also voiced concerns. Microsoft extended a peace offering, promising to maintain the Call of Duty series on PlayStation for an entire decade, which was approved by Nintendo although initially turned down by Sony.
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However, things turn over in time and the two giant organizations have come to an arrangement that will benefit both of them and, of course, their massive number of fans worldwide. Xbox head Phil Spencer tweeted that a binding agreement had been signed that ensures Call of Duty stays on PlayStation after Activision Blizzard’s takeover.
We are pleased to announce that Microsoft and @PlayStation have signed a binding agreement to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation following the acquisition of Activision Blizzard. We look forward to a future where players globally have more choice to play their favorite games.
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— Phil Spencer (@XboxP3) July 16, 2023
While the deal’s specifics remain under wraps, the gaming community worldwide is ecstatic about this development. Microsoft has consistently asserted its commitment to keeping Call of Duty multiplatform post-acquisition. Still, Sony sought further assurance to keep this top-rated franchise alive on its platform beyond the initial 10 years period.
What’s in the pipeline following Microsoft’s triumph over the FTC and the agreement with Sony? The immediate concern is the resolution with the UK’s CMA. There may be some curiosity among Call of Duty players about the game’s availability on Xbox Game Pass. But at this time, it doesn’t look like this will happen in the near future.
Previous arrangements from October 2022 revealed that Activision and Sony had implemented restrictions barring Activision Blizzard from launching Call of Duty titles on Game Pass for several years, potentially until 2025.
Whether Microsoft and Sony’s recent conciliatory step will expedite the introduction of COD titles to Xbox Game Pass is still something we should witness in the upcoming time. But let’s think that the Call of Duty games will be made available on the PlayStation Plus subscription as part of the deal with Sony. Isn’t that interesting? As the saying goes, you should always look for new information.
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