Phil Spencer Can't Commit To Call Of Duty Being On PlayStation Forever, Obviously
"There's no contract that could be written that says forever."
Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer has once again commented on Call of Duty's future on consoles that compete with Xbox. Speaking to The Verge, Spencer said "there's no contract that could be written that says forever," but he expects Call of Duty to remain available on PlayStation for some time.
"It's not about at some point I pull the rug underneath PlayStation 7's legs and it's, 'Ahaha you just didn’t write the contract long enough,'" he said. "There's no contract that could be written that says forever."
Spencer said it is "a little bit silly" to write a contract that uses the word "forever," but the executive said he's open to brokering a "longer-term commitment" with Sony that it would be comfortable with. Spencer said he would also hope this deal with Sony could help appease regulators.
The executive went on to further explain his position on the matter. Here is what he had to say:
Native Call of Duty on PlayStation, not linked to them having to carry Game Pass, not streaming. If they want a streaming version of Call of Duty we could do that as well, just like we do on our own consoles.
There's nothing behind my back. It is the Call of Duty Modern Warfare II doing great on PlayStation, doing great on Xbox. The next game, the next, next, next, next, next [game]. Native on the platform, not having to subscribe to Game Pass. Sony does not have to take Game Pass on their platform to make that happen.
There’s nothing hidden. We want to continue to ship Call of Duty on PlayStation without any kind of weird 'aha I figured out the gotcha’ as Phil said 'our intent.' I understand some people’s concerns on this, and I’m just trying to be as clear as I can be.
Spencer's words are strong and direct here, but people will no doubt continue to wonder and worry about Call of Duty's future on PlayStation until plans are confirmed in a more official and real capacity.
Call of Duty's exclusivity or non-exclusivity is a key point in the process of getting Microsoft's deal to buy Activision Blizzard approved. According to PlayStation's Jim Ryan, Microsoft offered to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation for three years beyond the existing deal, and Ryan had harsh words for this.
"Microsoft has only offered for Call of Duty to remain on PlayStation for three years after the current agreement between Activision and Sony ends," Ryan said. "After almost 20 years of Call of Duty on PlayStation, their proposal was inadequate on many levels and failed to take account of the impact on our gamers. We want to guarantee PlayStation gamers continue to have the highest quality Call of Duty experience, and Microsoft's proposal undermines this principle."
For his part, Spencer said Microsoft's offer to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation for what Ryan now said was a period of three years goes "well beyond typical gaming industry agreements." He added that Call of Duty releases on PlayStation will have "feature and content parity" with the Xbox versions, too.
We don't know, however, what the duration of the previously agreed-upon deal between Sony and Activision for Call of Duty was. But whatever that is, it'll be extended by three years, apparently, but what happens after that is unclear.
For its part, Sony believes the Call of Duty franchise is so big that it represents "a gaming category on its own," though Microsoft doesn't exactly see it that way.
The products discussed here were independently chosen by our editors. GameSpot may get a share of the revenue if you buy anything featured on our site.