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Report: Microsoft open to Call of Duty appearing on PlayStation Plus

The Xbox maker has reportedly told Sony it won't prevent the franchise from appearing on PlayStation Plus if it succeeds in purchasing Activision Blizzard.

Chris Kerr, News Editor

December 13, 2022

2 Min Read
A screenshot from Modern Warfare II

Microsoft would reportedly be willing to let Sony add Call of Duty to PlayStation Plus if it helps persuade regulators to approve its $68.7 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard.

The Xbox maker has already said it will provide Sony with a 10-year deal guaranteeing the availability of the popular shooter on PlayStation platforms if the deal goes through, but according to a report from Bloomberg, it would also be willing to let the Japanese company dish out Call of Duty via PlayStation Plus—which was recently repositioned as a rival to Xbox Game Pass.

A person familiar with the negotiations told Bloomberg that Sony has yet to accept Microsoft's current proposal.

The news comes as Microsoft and Activision Blizzard lock horns with regulators around the world in a bid to approve the merger. As it stands, the deal has gained approval in regions such as Brazil and Saudi Arabia, but both the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Competition Markets Authority (CMA) have voiced concerns about the deal in the United States and UK, respectively.

As a result of those concerns, the FTC voted to sue Microsoft in a bid to block the deal over fears it could "harm competition in multiple dynamic and fast-growing gaming markets." Microsoft has previously suggested those worries are misplaced, especially with regard to the deal's ability to let it dominate rivals such as Sony.

During its dialogue with the CMA, Microsoft claimed the UK regulator was overestimating the importance of the Call of Duty franchise, and suggested Sony had made "self-serving" statements during its own dialogue with the organization in a bid to halt the deal.

In fact, Microsoft told the CMA that Sony is currently the "incumbent market leader" and as such would be able to respond by bolstering its own business should the merger go through, pointing to the fact that Sony has acquired several game studios, including Destiny developer Bungie, since the acquisition was announced.

Although Microsoft and Sony have apparently yet to agree on how to handle Call of Duty in a post-merger world, Nintendo has seemingly taken the 10-year deal Microsoft was offering—although it's worth pointing out the Call of Duty franchise has yet to debut on the Switch, so that was likely an easier sell.

About the Author(s)

Chris Kerr

News Editor, GameDeveloper.com

Game Developer news editor Chris Kerr is an award-winning journalist and reporter with over a decade of experience in the game industry. His byline has appeared in notable print and digital publications including Edge, Stuff, Wireframe, International Business Times, and PocketGamer.biz. Throughout his career, Chris has covered major industry events including GDC, PAX Australia, Gamescom, Paris Games Week, and Develop Brighton. He has featured on the judging panel at The Develop Star Awards on multiple occasions and appeared on BBC Radio 5 Live to discuss breaking news.

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