Xbox says it’s not interested in ‘playing the exclusivity game’ with Call of Duty
“The best version of Call of Duty” will be on all platforms if Microsoft acquires the franchise
Xbox boss Phil Spencer has reiterated that Call of Duty players will receive full content and feature parity on all platforms should Microsoft acquire the franchise.
During a recent Xbox On interview, Spencer was asked if Microsoft intends to offer Xbox players any exclusive content if its $69 billion acquisition of Call of Duty publisher Activision Blizzard is approved by regulators.
“When we say available everywhere or not exclusive, we want to make absolutely the best version of Call of Duty for any player on any of those platforms”, he said.
“I sit here today with a great game that’s come out in the last couple of weeks, Hogwarts Legacy. And yes, there is a quest that’s available on PlayStation, it’s not available on Xbox as part of that, and I know this is part of the industry,” Spencer continued.
“That’s not the game we’re trying to play here either. It’s not about a skin on a gun. It’s not about a certain kind of mode of the game. The same version of the game will be available on all platforms, which is really what we do today.
“Like if you’re a Minecraft player on PlayStation, I don’t think you feel like you have the lesser version of Minecraft or Minecraft Dungeons or Legends, which is coming out when it ships.
“We want to make sure those players feel like they have a great experience on the platform they choose to play on.”
Regulators have expressed concerns that the acquisition could significantly reduce PlayStation’s ability to compete given that it would see Microsoft gain ownership of the Call of Duty series, which Sony has called “irreplaceable”.
In a bid to address these concerns, Microsoft recently said it had offered Sony a 10-year, legally enforceable contract to make each new Call of Duty game available on PlayStation the same day it comes to Xbox.
While Sony has so far refused to accept the offer, Microsoft president Brad Smith recently said he remains hopeful of striking a deal with PlayStation.
Last week, Microsoft announced it had signed a binding 10-year legal agreement to bring Call of Duty to Nintendo platforms should the Activision Blizzard deal be approved.
It also confirmed a 10-year partnership with Nvidia to bring its Xbox PC games to cloud gaming service GeForce Now, including Call of Duty.
Spencer recently said Microsoft’s proposed Activision Blizzard acquisition is not a “linchpin” for the future of Xbox, and that the company’s gaming arm will continue to exist even if the deal is blocked by regulators.