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Microsoft to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation for ‘more years’

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Microsoft is committed to keeping Duty on PlayStation for “a few more years” outside of the existing marketing deal Sony has with Activision. Microsoft Gaming CEO and Xbox chief Phil Spencer made the commitment earlier this year in a written letter to PlayStation head Jim Ryan, and it’s the clearest sign yet that Duty won’t suddenly disappear from PlayStation platforms if Microsoft’s $68.7 billion deal is approved by regulators.

“In January, we provided Sony with a signed agreement to ensure that Duty on PlayStation, with similar features and content, for at least several more years outside of the current Sony contract, an offering that goes far beyond typical gaming industry agreements,” said Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer in a statement to The edge.

How many years exactly Duty guaranteed on PlayStation is still not entirely clear, but Bloomberg originally reported earlier this year that Microsoft was determined to release it Duty on PlayStation “for at least the next two years,” suggesting Sony’s marketing deal for the franchise could expire in 2024. Microsoft then publicly pledged in February Duty “available on PlayStation outside the existing agreement and in the future.”

Call of Duty is one of Activision’s best-selling franchises.
Image: Activision

Duty fans are still debating whether Microsoft can technically make the game Xbox exclusive once the Activision Blizzard deal closes. Microsoft’s latest statement doesn’t address what happens after those “multi-years”, but it’s clear the company is willing to guarantee Duty on PlayStation for a longer than usual period than is contractually required.

Part of that commitment will be to allay fears from regulators analyzing Microsoft’s $68.7 billion deal to acquire Activision Blizzard. Sony and Microsoft lawyers have argued over the importance of Duty in documents filed with the Brazilian Administrative Council for Economic Defense (CADE), and it is clearly a sticking point.

Sony claims it would be difficult for other developers to create a franchise to rival Activision’s Duty and that it stands out “as a gaming category in its own right”. Microsoft argues that it is not as important as its rival makes it out to be. The reality is somewhere in the middle. Microsoft has also argued to CADE in these documents that it does not distribute games such as: Duty at rival console stores “simply wouldn’t be profitable” for the company.

Microsoft says a strategy of not distributing Activision Blizzard games on rival consoles would only be profitable if the games could attract a large number of players to the Xbox ecosystem, resulting in revenue to offset the losses from those titles not being sold. on competing consoles.

Bethesda’s upcoming Starfield game is now exclusive to Xbox and PC.
Image: Bethesda

The fears surrounding Xbox exclusivity for Duty are also stoked after Microsoft acquired Bethesda last year. Microsoft promised to keep existing contractual agreements with Sony for: death loop on PlayStation but continued making redfall and starfield Exclusive to Xbox and PC.

Duty Competitive fears have also played a major role in the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) set to investigate Microsoft’s Activision Blizzard deal. The CMA moves into a Phase 2 investigation appointing an independent panel to determine whether Microsoft’s control of games as Duty and World of Warcraft can harm rivals.

The battle is over Duty between Xbox and PlayStation has been around as long as the franchise. Sony famously struck a deal for extra Duty downloadable content for PlayStation fans in 2015, after Xbox was the traditional home for Duty. That battle is sure to continue as lawyers from Microsoft and Sony continue to discuss Dutyand regulators are trying to determine exactly how important it really is.

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