Xbox & PlayStation Sign “Call of Duty” Deal

Activision

Xbox’s Phil Spencer has announced that Microsoft and PlayStation have signed a binding agreement to keep the “Call of Duty” franchise on PlayStation.

In the statement on Twitter, nothing is mentioned about the terms of the agreement or the length of its tenure, but putting it in place removes one of the last and biggest hurdles in Microsoft’s prolonged acquisition of Activision Blizzard.

During the hearings, several Microsoft execs testified that the idea of making “Call of Duty” exclusive was never on the cards. Nonetheless, it remained a sticking point.

Microsoft president Brad Smith says in a statement:

“From Day One of this acquisition, we’ve been committed to addressing the concerns of regulators, platform and game developers, and consumers. Even after we cross the finish line for this deal’s approval, we will remain focused on ensuring that Call of Duty remains available on more platforms and for more consumers than ever before.”

After this, Axios journalist Stephen Totilo posted to Twitter that he’s been told by Sony that the deal will last ten years saying: “Sony has confirmed with me/Axios that PlayStation’s Call of Duty deal with Microsoft (pending Activision purchase) is for 10 years.”

That would take the deal through the entire lifespan of the PS5, and almost all of a PS6 expected to launch around 2027-28.

PlayStation now joins Nvidia and Nintendo as companies who’ve now signed similar ten years deals to retain the franchise – meaning “Call of Duty” will be available on essentially every major platform for years to come.

The news comes as a US court denied the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) request to further halt Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard. Combined with the UK CMA expediting its revision, it’s looking like the deal will be going forward shortly.



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