Sony has responded to Microsoft's blockbuster proposal to buy Activision Blizzard with a comment on what it could mean for future games such as Call of Duty on PlayStation consoles. "We expect Microsoft to abide by contractual agreements and continue to ensure that Activision games are multiplatform," a spokesman said. Wall Street Journal.
The wording of the statement is less than final. It is not surprising that Sony would expect Microsoft to abide by all existing contractual agreements regarding PlayStation games, as it did when the PS5 console was exclusive. Deathloop was released following Microsoft's acquisition of publisher Bethesda Softworks. When the existing deals expire, it opens the door for Microsoft to pursue Xbox exclusivity for the many franchises it buys.
The big question is around Call of Duty. The franchise is hugely popular across both the Xbox and PlayStation, but Sony has had one Call of Duty marketing agreement in place with Activision for more than five years. "PlayStation is the new home for Call of Duty, ”Former PlayStation CEO Andrew House stated during Sony's E3 2015 press briefing. It was revealed by Sony in November Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War was the second most played PS5 game in all of 2021, only afterwards Fortnite. Call of Duty also secured both top rankings for U.S. gaming sales for the entire 2021, according to the NPD, highlighting its impact on the market.
When Microsoft's Activision Blizzard deal closes, Sony will be powerless over Call of Duty's long-term future on PlayStation. Microsoft's Bethesda acquisition led to Starfield becomes an Xbox and PC exclusive, and Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer suggests it The Elder Scrolls VI will also be an exclusive Xbox.
"Activision Blizzard games are being enjoyed on a variety of platforms, and we plan to continue to support these communities going forward," Spencer said earlier this week. It's easy to imagine a future that Microsoft maintains Call of Duty: Warzone across multiple platforms, but any future Call of Duty games are exclusive to Xbox. After all, Microsoft is not spending $ 68.7 billion on continuing to release PlayStation games forever.