Sony and Microsoft agree 10-year deal to keep Call Of Duty on PlayStation
Narrowly averting a grim dystopian future of platform-exclusive noobstomping
Microsoft Gaming boss Phil Spencer has announced a deal with Sony to keep Call Of Duty on PlayStation consoles, following Microsoft’s acquisition of COD publisher Activision Blizzard last year.
The announcement, posted by Spencer on Twitter, marks the latest chapter in a long-running territorial war for some of gaming’s biggest IPs between the two biggest platform holders in the industry. In this instance at least, a truce has been called - not only is the bombastic shooter franchise going to be available on both Xbox and PlayStation consoles, a Verge report confirms that the deal is good for 10 years.
The saga kicked off back in 2020 when Microsoft acquired Zenimax Media, the company that owns Bethesda, id Software and Arkane.
That means massive franchises like The Elder Scrolls and Doom now ultimately fall under Microsoft ownership, along with marquee new titles like Starfield and... well, the less said about Redfall the better, but it was certainly intended as such. Microsoft capitalised on that merger by making Starfield an Xbox-exclusive title, to no small amount of ire among PlayStation devotees.
But there are several reports including this one from Gamerant that prior to Microsoft’s deal, it was actually Sony negotiating for timed platform exclusivity on Starfield, having already established exclusives for recent big hitters Deathloop and Ghostwire: Tokyo.
Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard was a move of a different magnitude though, setting the Bellevue company back $69bn and drawing raised eyebrows and spirited harrumphs from financial regulators.
FTC officials argued that Microsoft could use the deal to make some of gaming’s biggest IPs exclusive to Xbox, and in that way monopolise the console market. That kicked off over a year of legal proceedings which, as Eurogamer reports, seem to have reached a conclusion this week. The FTC’s final attempt to block the deal was denied and the deal looks set be completed.
Quite fortunate timing then, this COD announcement from Phil Spencer. Yes, a company of unfathomable size, resources and power now owns nearly all the big games that have ever and will ever exist. Still, COD’s still on PlayStation.
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