Microsoft has confirmed that its recently inked agreement with Sony for the Call of Duty franchise will last a minimum of ten years. This deal is part of Microsoft’s strategy to secure regulatory approval for its acquisition of Activision Blizzard by demonstrating its commitment to bringing Activision-published games to multiple platforms. In addition to rival cloud gaming platforms, Microsoft plans to introduce Activision games, including Call of Duty, to competing consoles.
Prior to the acquisition, Microsoft had already signed a contract with Nintendo to bring Call of Duty to the Nintendo Switch. A similar arrangement was offered to Sony, but the company initially declined, hoping that regulatory bodies would prevent Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard. However, Microsoft received approval for the acquisition, thereby gaining control over all Activision Blizzard games.
While the initial agreement with Sony did not include a 10-year duration for Call of Duty on PlayStation, the company has since entered into such an agreement. Microsoft has confirmed that the contract spans a period of ten years, although specific terms have not been disclosed. This suggests that, in theory, Call of Duty could become exclusive to Xbox after the ten-year timeframe, although the likelihood of this happening seems slim.
Do you know that Microsoft predicted astronomical sales for PlayStation 5? It’s reasonable to say that this year’s Starfield will be a huge success for Xbox. Starfield will no longer be released on PlayStation 5 as a result of Microsoft’s $7.5 billion acquisition of ZeniMax Media, Bethesda’s parent company:
Even after the expiration of the ten-year agreement, it is unlikely that withholding Call of Duty from PlayStation consoles would be financially viable, given the franchise’s immense popularity. It is more plausible that the game will follow a similar approach to Microsoft’s handling of Minecraft, which is available on competitors’ platforms. However, considering the rapidly evolving gaming landscape, it is challenging to predict the future trajectory of Call of Duty beyond the specified timeframe.
The agreement may also ensure the availability of Call of Duty games on the next-generation PlayStation 6 console. Court proceedings related to Microsoft’s attempted acquisition revealed that the next console generation is expected to debut around 2028, well within the ten-year agreement window. However, there could be a potential hurdle if Sony decides not to provide PlayStation 6 development kits to Activision Blizzard, as it would entail sharing proprietary information with a direct competitor.
The ten-year agreement between Microsoft and Sony for Call of Duty on PlayStation represents a significant development in the gaming industry. While the future exclusivity of the franchise remains uncertain, this deal underscores Microsoft’s commitment to expanding game accessibility across multiple platforms. As the gaming landscape continues to evolve, it will be intriguing to witness the long-term impact of this agreement on the Call of Duty franchise and the overall gaming community.