Sponsored By

Sony accepts Microsoft's offer to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation for a decade

The agreement comes as Microsoft prepares to complete its acquisition of Activision Blizzard.

Chris Kerr, News Editor

July 17, 2023

2 Min Read
A screenshot from Modern Warfare II showing two soldiers preparing to breach

Microsoft and Sony have signed a binding agreement to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation after the Xbox maker has acquired Activision Blizzard.

Xbox boss Phil Spencer shared the news on Twitter, and said the company is looking forward to a future "where players globally have more choice to play their favorite games."

In a follow-up statement sent to The Verge, Xbox's head global communications Kari Perez confirmed the deal is a 10-year commitment that only covers Call of Duty.

It's a notable move that ends a high-profile feud between the two companies. Sony has spent a long time arguing that Microsoft's proposed merger with Activision Blizzard will harm consumers by giving the Xbox maker a huge competitive advantage.

For instance, in a letter sent to UK regulator the Competition and Markets Authority in 2022, the Japanese company said that Microsoft's merger with Activision Blizzard would result in it losing "significant revenues" and "tilt demand for multi-game subscription services irreparably in Microsoft's favor."

The PlayStation maker also suggested the deal would leave it "extremely vulnerable to consumer switching and subsequent degradation in its competitiveness," and that creating a competitor to Call of Duty would take "many, many years and billions of dollars."

Microsoft has repeatedly attempted to counter those arguments, positioning Sony as the out-and-out market leader and at one point accusing the company of misleading regulators in the EU over the potential impacts of the merger.

Crucially, Microsoft has also repeatedly (and publicly) offered Sony a deal that would keep Call of Duty on PlayStation for a decade and provide "parity on timing, content, features, quality, playability, and any other aspect of the game."

Now, with the Activision Blizzard merger nearing completion in the United States after the FTC lost its high-profile court case against Microsoft, it seems that Sony has finally accepted that (or a similar) offer.

Microsoft will now look to put the finishing touches on the acquisition in the U.S. while it continues working with the CMA–which blocked the deal earlier this year–to figure out a way to seal approval in the UK.

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.

Daily news, dev blogs, and stories from Game Developer straight to your inbox

You May Also Like