Call Of Duty Won't Be Seen On Game Pass For "A Number Of Years" - Report
Prior arrangements between Activision and Sony will be honored by Microsoft.
Call of Duty games won't be seen on Xbox Game Pass for "a number of years" as "prior agreements" between Sony and Activision will prohibit the franchise from moving to the subscription service if Microsoft's acquisition is approved. In Microsoft's response to the Competition and Markets Authority's decision to enter a second phase of investigation into the proposed $69 billion deal, footnote references to a tweet from Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer were highlighted by the company.
"The agreement between Activision Blizzard and Sony includes restrictions on the ability of Activision Blizzard to place Call of Duty titles on Game Pass for a number of years," the footnote reads (via VGC). Sony and Activision had previously entered into a co-marketing deal during the PS4 generation, which has seen a number of exclusive perks made available on PlayStation consoles over the years, and Microsoft will honor those deals.
Spencer had also confirmed this in a previous interview and has promised to keep the Call of Duty franchise on PlayStation for "years" beyond Sony's existing contract with Activision. Sony has criticized this promise and says that Call of Duty will only be available for three more years on PlayStation after the current deal ends.
The CMA has so far expressed a number of concerns related to the deal and how it has the potential to have a major impact on Sony if Microsoft decides to make Activision Blizzard content exclusive to Xbox. Each annual Call of Duty release is usually one of the best-selling games of the year, and the regulator is concerned that Microsoft could harm Sony and and other game subscription services if Call of Duty becomes exclusive to Xbox and PC platforms.
Microsoft has hit back at those claims and responded by saying that the CMA has adopted Sony's complaints without doing an appropriate level of critical review. According to Microsoft, Sony "losing access to one title" is not a credible argument and it has been accused of being hypocritical in its criticism of the deal. The acquisition is being scrutinized worldwide by other watchdog bodies, and the CMA's investigation will seen an independent panel appointed to examine the deal in greater detail for any anti-competitive practices.
The preliminary findings from this second phase of the investigation will be released in January, with the final report being released by March 1. Over in Brazil, a series of legal documents made public by Brazil's Administrative Council for Economic Defense has revealed fascinating details of Microsoft's business, such as Xbox Game Pass for consoles generating $2.9 billion in revenue in 2021 alone.
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