Higher Than ‘Standard’ Revenue Share Puts Call of Duty Xbox Release at Risk, Says Activision CEO

Activision CEO Bobby Kotick has revealed that there was a contingency plan to exclude Call of Duty from the Xbox Series X|S if Microsoft did not agree to a new revenue share deal.

This information was disclosed by Microsoft’s Corporate Vice President Sarah Bond during her testimony in the ongoing case between the FTC and Microsoft/Activision-Blizzard. Bond stated that Kotick demanded a higher revenue share for Call of Duty on Xbox, requesting an 80/20 split instead of the regular 70/30. She further claimed that if Microsoft did not agree to this, Kotick threatened to not release the game on their consoles.

Bond also emphasized the importance of having Call of Duty available on both PlayStation and Xbox simultaneously, stating, “It was clear that Call of Duty would be on PS5, and it would not have been good if it was not also on Xbox at the same time.”

Given limited time and the need to meet player expectations, Microsoft was compelled to negotiate a new revenue deal for Call of Duty. Bond explained, “We ultimately made a decision that it was the best thing for the business.”

The ongoing FTC/Microsoft trial continues to reveal interesting details. Yesterday, witnesses, including Bethesda’s Pete Hines, confirmed that the upcoming Indiana Jones game from MachineGames will be an Xbox/PC exclusive. Additionally, court documents unveiled Microsoft’s acknowledgment of losing the console wars.

The trial’s second day is set to commence later today, featuring testimonies from Xbox boss Phil Spencer, Sony’s PlayStation head Jim Ryan, Activision’s Bobby Kotick, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, and other executives.

We will continue to provide updates on the trial as new information emerges. Stay tuned.

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