Microsoft and Sony sign binding agreement to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation

Posted on July 17, 2023

Following Microsoft’s 2022 acquisition of Activision, one of the biggest points of controversy has been the status of Call of Duty. Being one of the best-selling video game franchises ever, Microsoft gaining exclusive access to it and taking it off competing consoles was seen as a move which would unfairly disadvantage Sony in the console gaming market. PlayStation gamers can now rest assured; following months of verbal promises that Call of Duty isn’t going anywhere, the two console manufacturers have now signed a formal agreement keeping Call of Duty on PlayStation for the foreseeable future.

We are pleased to announce that Microsoft and PlayStation have signed a binding agreement to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation following the acquisition of Activision Blizzard,” Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer announced on Twitter. “We look forward to a future where players globally have more choice to play their favourite games.

This announcement may help the acquisition progress further, which still is awaiting approval in some markets. The potentially outsized impact that Microsoft would have if all Activision Blizzard games were made exclusive to Xbox and PC has been a point of contention by some regulators, along with Microsoft’s cloud gaming ambitions. The merger has recently been approved in the European Union. It also seems to be moving further along in the US following a failed appeal by the Federal Trade Commission. The fact that Microsoft and Sony are at the stage of signing an agreement regarding Call of Duty suggests that Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard is all but inevitable.

The specific details of the agreement are unknown regarding how long the it will last. As per this announcement, the Call of Duty series will remain a multiplatform franchise at least for the remainder of the PS5’s lifespan. While Microsoft’s acquisitions have resulted in many highly anticipated games becoming Microsoft exclusives, such as Starfield, it is good that as many players as possible will be able to enjoy the Call of Duty series for some time to come.