The proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard by Microsoft for $69 billion is currently under intense scrutiny from regulators all over the world. One of the primary sticking points is the future of the Call of Duty series on PlayStation platforms, which is one of the most important sticking points.
Microsoft informed the New York Times earlier this month that it has committed to a 10-year arrangement with Sony to maintain the Call of Duty franchise on PlayStation systems. This move was made in an effort to assist in allay the concerns that were raised and to facilitate the closing of the acquisition.
In recent years, PlayStation owners have really had an advantage over the rest of us, with early access to Call of Duty beta tests and other stuff. This situation is a little bit hilarious because PlayStation owners have truly had a leg up. If Microsoft is in charge of the series, it is quite doubtful that this would continue, but Sony is more concerned about the possibility that it may be discontinued completely.
Shortly after the announcement of the purchase proposal, Microsoft made a statement stating that it intended to
“keep Call of Duty on PlayStation,”
but it did not provide any other details beyond its intention to uphold agreements that were already in place.
In September, when Xbox head Phil Spencer stated that Microsoft had promised Call of Duty releases on PlayStation platforms, the subject took on an aspect that looked to be a little more personal “for a period that is at least many years longer than the existing arrangement with Sony.
” That spurred PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan to say that the offer was only for three years beyond the end of the current deal, which he described as “inadequate on many levels.”
At the conclusion of the month of October, Spencer announced that Microsoft will keep putting out Call of Duty for PlayStation platforms “so long as there is a PlayStation somewhere that the product can be shipped to.
“This new offer for ten years is a little less comprehensive than the previous one, but it is also easier to nail down contractually, and it reflects Microsoft’s willingness to successfully complete the purchase.
It will be far more difficult for Sony to back out of this deal than it would be to back out of vague promises or a commitment lasting three years.
It remains to be seen if this will be sufficient to win over the regulatory bodies. One problem is that Activision titles will only be available through Game Pass, which raises the question of whether or not this will offer Game Pass “an unprecedented edge” over other streaming services.
Microsoft stated in October that it has an agreement with Sony that keeps Call of Duty off of Game Pass. However, it is expected that this agreement will expire at some time in the future; if it does, it is likely that Call of Duty will become one of Game Pass’s signature games.
According to a story from the Times, the proposed acquisition of Activision by Microsoft is being investigated by sixteen distinct federal agencies. The transaction has been authorized by Saudi Arabia and Brazil, but authorities in the United States, the United Kingdom, and the European Union are still looking at it.