Following the recent nearly $70 billion purchase of Activition-Blizzard, many gamers have wondered what this means regarding platform exclusivity for Activision’s game franchises. Xbox Head Phil Spencer has gone on record to assure fans that Call of Duty, one of Activision’s most popular series, will remain multiplatform, at least for the near future.
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
“Had good calls this week with leaders at Sony“, Spencer advised on Twitter. “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.”
Microsoft has made similar statements before following its 2020 purchase of ZeniMax Media. The company promised to keep previously-announced projects, such as Arkane’s DEATHLOOP, on Sony consoles. However, that hasn’t prevented future Bethesda titles such as Starfield being confirmed as Xbox and PC exclusives. For now, Microsoft seems to be happy for the Call of Duty franchise to remain on non-Microsoft platforms. It will remain to be seen if other upcoming instalments in popular Activision franchises, such as Overwatch or Diablo, will skip PlayStation releases.
These recent massive studio purchases by Microsoft have roiled the gaming industry, spooking rival Sony’s investors in the process. For PlayStation stalwarts, especially those who managed to acquire a PS5 instead of an Xbox Series X/S this generation, many have wondered if many classic franchises will be Xbox exclusives from now on. Even if it doesn’t meet the legal definition of a monopoly, Microsoft using its resources to buy up the biggest developers and prevent games from releasing on competing platforms sounds disastrous for the industry.
Fortunately, Microsoft is not hoarding all of its new acquisitions to itself, at least for the moment. Call of Duty, and likely others, will see PlayStation and Nintendo Switch releases, even if other franchises won’t. That’s not to say the acquisition will not impact the Call of Duty series; a Bloomberg report has suggested that high-level Activision employees are considering shifting from the franchise’s yearly release model. Whether that eventually happens or not, PlayStation owners will also be able to play the games as well, at least for the foreseeable future.