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Microsoft has confounded critics by confirming they will be honouring Activision Blizzard’s cross-platform commitments, including making games such as Call of Duty available on the PS5.
The news was confirmed by Phil Spencer, CEO of Microsoft Gaming on Twitter.
Had good calls this week with leaders at Sony. I confirmed our intent to honor all existing agreements upon acquisition of Activision Blizzard and our desire to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation. Sony is an important part of our industry, and we value our relationship.
— Phil Spencer (@XboxP3) January 20, 2022
Sony has recently demanded that Microsoft does just that.
“We expect that Microsoft will abide by contractual agreements and continue to ensure Activision games are multiplatform,” a Sony spokesperson said to the Wall Street Journal earlier today.
In spite of the recently announced acquisition, PlayStation still holds the marketing rights for the Call of Duty franchise thanks to a contract with Activision, which is believed to extend for a few more years, most likely until 2024. This contract also gives PlayStation players timed exclusivity over some content, as well as in-game bonuses from time to time.
It’s currently unclear which Activision Blizzard franchises will end up being exclusive to Xbox consoles in the future. While games like Call of Duty and Overwatch are expected to remain multiplatform, Bloomberg reports that, according to a “person familiar with the company’s thinking,” future exclusivity decisions will likely be made on a title-by-title basis.
Microsoft of course has an ongoing interest in keeping Sony’s PlayStation platform viable to avoid antitrust scrutiny.