When the bombshell acquisition of Microsoft and Activision Blizzard was announced, many of us wondered what would eventually happen to Call of Duty games on PlayStation. One assumption was that after existing agreements were met, Microsoft would move to make the franchise console exclusive on Xbox. Today, Microsoft makes its position clear.
In a blog post about a “new set of Open App Store Principles,” Microsoft’s Brad Smith had this to say about Call of Duty games and PlayStation. (emphasis mine)
“First, some commentators have asked whether we will continue to make popular content like Activision’s Call of Duty available on competing platforms like Sony’s PlayStation. The obvious concern is that Microsoft could make this title available exclusively on the Xbox console, undermining opportunities for Sony PlayStation users.”
To be clear, Microsoft will continue to make Call of Duty and other popular Activision Blizzard titles available on PlayStation through the term of any existing agreement with Activision. And we have committed to Sony that we will also make them available on PlayStation beyond the existing agreement and into the future so that Sony fans can continue to enjoy the games they love. We are also interested in taking similar steps to support Nintendo’s successful platform. We believe this is the right thing for the industry, for gamers and for our business.
I don’t know how much more clear Microsoft could be than that. Obviously, there will be questions about new IPs that eventually come from this acquisition, but the biggest Activision Blizzard games will continue to find a home on rival platforms like PlayStation and Nintendo.
That lines up with how Microsoft has treated games like Minecraft and Elder Scrolls Online in the past. Both of those games saw either new entries (in the case of Minecraft Dungeons) or continued support on rival platforms. Today’s blog post should put to bed any concerns Microsoft would try to keep Call of Duty on Xbox platforms only.
If Activision Blizzard follows the usual blueprint, we’ll start the first official tidbits of info for the next Call of Duty sometime this summer.
Image: Warzone / Activision