Xbox Promises To Keep Call Of Duty On PlayStation For "Years" Beyond Existing Deal
Microsoft will keep Call of Duty on PlayStation longer than it may be contractually obligated to.
Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer has vowed to keep the Call of Duty franchise on PlayStation for "years" beyond Sony's existing contract with Activision. The executive shared this with The Verge, saying Microsoft is going above and beyond with its contract.
Spencer said Microsoft sent Sony a "signed guarantee" in January that Call of Duty would continue to be released on PlayStation for "at least several more years beyond the current Sony contract."
Spencer said this deal 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.
What may happen after those "several more years" remains to be seen. Additionally, all of this is pending approval of Microsoft's acquisition of Activision Blizzard. Both companies have internally approved the deal, and now regulatory bodies around the world are reviewing it.
Just recently, the UK's Competition and Markets Authority said it is "concerned" that Microsoft's proposal to buy Activision Blizzard could "substantially lessen competition" for sales of game consoles, subscription services, and cloud gaming networks. Spencer responded, saying the proposed buyout of Activision Blizzard is not about limiting who can play its games and use its services--it's about growing.
Call of Duty, specifically, is getting a lot of attention in the ongoing back-and-forth between Microsoft and Sony. 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.
When Microsoft bought ZeniMax, the company said it would honor existing deals, so that's why Deathloop remained a PlayStation exclusive on console. However, titles like Starfield and Redfall will be exclusive to Xbox on console, and also released on PC.
According to a report, the next three Call of Duty games will be released on PlayStation, but what happens after that is anyone's guess. The next Call of Duty game is Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II, which releases in October. Sony's exclusivity deal with Activision remains in place this year, which is why PlayStation users are getting a first crack at the beta, which starts on September 16.