All current and future Call of Duty games will now be accessible on the PlayStation platform, as confirmed by Phil Spencer, the head of Xbox, in a tweet.
“We are delighted to announce that Microsoft and PlayStation have reached a binding agreement that ensures Call of Duty remains available on PlayStation following our acquisition of Activision Blizzard,” Spencer announced yesterday (July 16). “We are looking forward to a future where players worldwide have more options to enjoy their favorite games.”
We are pleased to announce that Microsoft and @PlayStation have signed a binding agreement to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation following the acquisition of Activision Blizzard. We look forward to a future where players globally have more choice to play their favorite games.
— Phil Spencer (@XboxP3) July 16, 2023
This formalizes Microsoft’s commitment to maintaining access to Call of Duty on its competitor’s consoles, as previously stated by Spencer in a tweet from late 2022. In response, Sony acknowledged that there may still be an impact on its financial performance, as the popularity of the Call of Duty brand could influence players to switch platforms.
However, Spencer clarified that the acquisition of Activision Blizzard, which is set to be the most expensive video game acquisition ever at a cost of $68.7 billion (£53.3 billion), was primarily motivated by Activision Blizzard’s success in the mobile gaming industry.
On July 11, the United States District Court for the Northern District of California dismissed the concerns raised by the Federal Trade Commission about the acquisition, stating that Microsoft had adequately addressed them “in writing, in public, and in court” and that there would be no significant negative impact on competition within the industry, as affirmed by Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley.
However, the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority remains unconvinced. “We disagree with the CMA’s concerns and have appealed their decision,” Spencer explained in an internal memo to Microsoft employees. “To focus on exploring potential alternatives, Microsoft and Activision have jointly agreed with the CMA to pause the appeal, considering it to be in the best interest of the public. We have submitted our joint position to the Competition Appeal Tribunal accordingly.”
In other gaming news, Microsoft described Blizzard’s attempt to make Call of Duty exclusive to its own Battle.net service on PC as a “comprehensive failure.”
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