Microsoft & Sony ink Deal Keep Call of Duty on PlayStation
Microsoft has confirmed that it has reached a binding agreement to ensure that the Call of Duty video game franchise will continue to be available on Sony’s PlayStation platform, even after Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard.
This announcement comes after a year-long battle between the companies, which has raised concerns from Sony and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regarding competition.
Call of Duty on PlayStation
In order to alleviate these concerns, Microsoft had previously consented to license Call of Duty to its competitors, including a contract with Nintendo that spans 10 years. The FTC had expressed apprehensions about the impact of the Microsoft-Activision Blizzard deal on consumers and competition. However, Microsoft’s commitment to keeping Call of Duty on PlayStation could help alleviate some of these concerns.
Microsoft’s initial offer to Sony in January 2022 stipulated that all current Activision console titles would continue to be available on Sony until the end of 2027. However, the terms of the deal have since changed, with a limited extension of 10 years specifically for Call of Duty.
While Microsoft and Activision Blizzard have a deadline of July 18th to complete the merger, they may choose to extend this deadline if needed. In May, the takeover deal received approval from regulators in the EU, although the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority had initially blocked the deal in April. Nonetheless, the CMA has indicated its openness to engage in discussions with Microsoft regarding the acquisition.
Tweeting on the announcement, Brad Smith, Vice Chair and President of Microsoft, said:
From the very start of this acquisition, our primary concern has been to address the issues raised by regulators, platform and game developers, as well as consumers. Our commitment to ensuring that Call of Duty remains accessible on more platforms and to more consumers than ever before will not waver, even after this deal is approved.