With over a year full of hurdles, Microsoft is gearing up to close the Activision Blizzard deal after winning the court case against the FTC. The anticipation of the court decision also encouraged certain users to buy Activision stocks worth millions.
Recently, Microsoft and Sony signed a deal for Call of Duty. Previously Jim Ryan refused to sign the contract, hoping to block the merger. While the SIE CEO has now agreed to Microsoft’s offer, this delayed agreement appears to have come at a cost.
According to Microsoft, the deal guarantees Call of Duty games would be released on PlayStation for the next ten years. However, it does not cover other Activision games. This implies that other Activision IPs can be exclusive to Xbox.
Why it matters: Microsoft’s agreement with gaming giants like Nvidia and Nintendo is different. The gaming giant will offer all Activision games to these companies, but PlayStation’s agreement only guarantees Call of Duty.
Microsoft has confirmed to The Verge that Sony's 10-year Call of Duty deal is limited to CoD. Microsoft originally offered to keep "existing Activision console titles on Sony”, including future versions of current Activision games on PS till end of 2027 https://t.co/yq4GadNGAi pic.twitter.com/OtmbylAGv7
— Tom Warren (@tomwarren) July 16, 2023
This statement has been confirmed by Kari Perez from Xbox.
As such, IPs like Overwatch and Crash Bandicoot might skip PlayStation in the future. Furthermore, Activision has a number of dormant franchises that Microsoft could look to revisit.
This includes IPs like Prototype. Recent rumors also claim StarCraft 3 has already begun development, but none of these games are guaranteed to be released on PlayStation consoles.
During the case, Microsoft continued to reiterate it had no intention of pulling Call of Duty from the PlayStation, as it would not make any financial sense. Previously, the gaming giant offered to keep all Activision games on PlayStation for ten years.
However, the agreement appears to have changed. Nonetheless, Sony will likely be glad that Call of Duty will continue to release on PS5. Jim Ryan does not consider exclusivity for specific titles anti-competitive, and he commented similarly about Starfield.
Following recent victories, Microsoft is free to close the merger in the coming days. Both Microsoft and CMA also paused the appeal as they negotiate how the transaction should be modified to address CMA’s concerns regarding the deal.
Thank you! Please share your positive feedback. 🔋
How could we improve this post? Please Help us. 😔
Obaid is pursuing a Law degree, while working as a content writer. He has worked as a gaming writer for over a year because of his passion for the medium and reporting the latest updates in the industry. Having played hundreds of games, Obaid finds himself coming back to Elden Ring and Red Dead Redemption 2, with these games being among his favorites. He has also been mentioned on highly regarded websites, such as Wccftech, Metro UK, PS Lifestyle, GamePressure, VGC, and Gamespot.