Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer Wants to “Keep Call of Duty on PlayStation”
The games industry is reeling from the potential fallout from Microsoft’s massive deal to acquire Activision, and some of the biggest questions have centered on the future of the game. Duty franchise, which is a big hit on both PlayStation and Xbox consoles. Although we’re still not sure where to play the latest Duty If the acquisition goes through, Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer suggests the series has a future on Sony platforms.
“Had great conversations with leaders at Sony this week,” Spencer said Thursday night. “I confirmed our intent to honor all existing agreements in the acquisition of Activision Blizzard and our desire to keep Duty on Playstation. Sony is an important part of our industry and we value our relationship.”
Had some good conversations this week with leaders at Sony. I reaffirmed our intent to honor all existing agreements in the Activision Blizzard acquisition 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
That statement leaves some leeway that Duty could still become an Xbox exclusive franchise. Microsoft has shown willingness to turn its acquisitions into exclusives: it plans to release Bethesda Softworks’ upcoming game starfield only on Xbox and PC, and Spencer has hinted that will be the case for The Elder Scrolls VI also. That approach would make sense, especially as a way to improve its Game Pass subscription service.
But it seems that’s not what Spencer wants to get into Duty. It wouldn’t be the first time he’s been willing to keep Microsoft franchises multiplatform; Minecraft, for example, will continue to be available on many different platforms years after Mojang’s acquisition. And Microsoft even has a new Minecraft game, Minecraft Dungeons, on PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch and PC.
Spencer’s statement matches a Sony shared with The Wall Street Journal. “We expect Microsoft to adhere to contractual agreements and continue to ensure that Activision games are multiplatform,” a Sony spokesperson told the publication. Spencer and Sony’s statements also match information from an FAQ Activision sent to employees this week. “We will honor all existing obligations after the closure”, according to the FAQ, which appeared in an SEC filing. “As with Microsoft’s acquisition of Minecraft, we have no intention of removing content from platforms where it now exists.”
However, the acquisition is still a long way from a foregone conclusion; it is not expected to close until the end of Microsoft’s fiscal year 2023, which ends in June 2023. But assuming Activision eventually joins Microsoft, it now seems slightly more likely that new Duty games still come to your Sony console.