the Call of Duty franchise on PlayStation consoles for the next ten years, following Microsoft’s proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard.
This deal puts an end to the public and private battle between the two companies that has been ongoing for the past year. In January 2022, Microsoft made its initial offer to Sony, which included the commitment to keep all existing Activision console titles on Sony, including future versions of the Call of Duty franchise, until December 31st, 2027.
However, the deal terms have changed since then, and it has now been confirmed that the 10-year commitment is limited to just the Call of Duty franchise. While Microsoft’s initial announcement did not mention any such commitment, Kari Perez, head of global communications at Xbox, confirmed to The Verge that it is indeed a 10-year agreement.
This deal comes after months of discussions and counteroffers between Microsoft and Sony over the future of Activision content on PlayStation consoles. The public disagreement between the two companies escalated when Jim Ryan, the PlayStation chief, stated that he “just wants to block” Microsoft’s proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard during a meeting with Activision CEO Bobby Kotick on February 21st, 2023.
Despite the deal between Sony and Microsoft, regulatory issues surrounding the acquisition of Activision Blizzard by Microsoft remain unresolved. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) and Microsoft have paused their legal battles to negotiate how the transaction might be modified to address the CMA’s cloud gaming concerns. The CMA has also warned that Microsoft’s proposals may lead to a new merger investigation, and discussions with Microsoft are still at an early stage.
Overall, the agreement between Sony and Microsoft is a significant development in the ongoing saga of the acquisition of Activision Blizzard by Microsoft. It remains to be seen how the regulatory issues will be resolved, but for now, the future of the Call of Duty franchise on PlayStation consoles seems secure.