As governmental scrutiny of Microsoft’s proposed $69bn USD acquisition of publisher Activision Blizzard grows – particularly in relation to its impact on PlayStation – Microsoft has revealed a commitment to keeping Call of Duty on PlayStation platforms for “at least several more years” beyond Sony’s existing marketing contract.
That’s according to The Verge, which says the commitment was made in a letter from Xbox boss Phil Spencer to PlayStation head Jim Ryan earlier this year.
“In January,” Spencer told the publication in a statement, “we provided a signed agreement to Sony to guarantee Call of Duty on PlayStation, with feature and content parity, for at least several more years beyond the current Sony contract, an offer that goes well beyond typical gaming industry agreements”.
When Microsoft previously discussed its continuing commitment to putting Call of Duty on PlayStation platforms back in February, it said it would “make them available… beyond the existing agreement and into the future”. Today’s talk of “at least several more years” adds a little more specificity to Microsoft’s plans, but ultimately doesn’t mean much without knowledge of Sony’s existing deal with Activision Blizzard. Equally uncertain is what might happen once those “several more years” are through.
One thing we do know, however, is that Microsoft will be putting Call of Duty (and other Activision Blizzard big-hitters like Overwatch and Diablo) on Game Pass should its acquisition go through, while also committing to “making the same version of Call of Duty available on PlayStation on the same day the game launches elsewhere”. Exactly how long that commitment will be honoured, though, remains to be seen.