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Xbox confirms: ‘We want to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation’
Phil Spencer claims it’s Microsoft’s “desire” to keep the series on Sony’s platform
Microsoft’s head of gaming has confirmed his desire to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation platforms once Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard has concluded.
Speculation has been rife since the announcement of the $70 billion deal earlier this week around how Microsoft will treat multiplatform releases going forwards.
However, in a Twitter post published on Thursday, Phil Spencer claimed that Microsoft “value our relationship” with Sony and said that it was “our desire to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation”.
“Had good calls this week with leaders at Sony,” he wrote. “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.”
It’s not clear if Microsoft’s plans will cover all Call of Duty releases or just the free-to-play title Warzone.
Activision Blizzard has already said it has no intention of removing existing games from other platforms once it has been acquired.
However, there is already some precedence for Microsoft continuing to release its games on rival platforms beyond an acquisition. The company continues to publish Minecraft on PlayStation, and it honoured exclusivity agreements for Bethesda’s Deathloop and the upcoming Ghostwire Tokyo.
The Elder Scrolls Online is also continuing to be supported on PlayStation platforms. However, Microsoft has since confirmed Bethesda’s big future games such as Starfield, Redfall and The Elder Scrolls 6 will be exclusive to Xbox and PC.
The Call of Duty series is regularly among PlayStation’s most popular games. Last year, the series was both the first (Vanguard) and third (Black Ops Cold War) best-selling games on PlayStation in the US, according to NPD.
Earlier today Sony responded for the first time to Microsoft’s proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard, and said that it expects games to remain multiplatform due to “contractual agreements”.
“We expect that Microsoft will abide by contractual agreements and continue to ensure Activision games are multiplatform,” a Sony spokesman said (via WSJ) on Thursday.
Activision has had a long-standing content exclusivity agreement with PlayStation for the Call of Duty series, and it’s this Sony could be referring to in its latest statement. Such agreements likely cover multiple years.