In a game-changing move, Sony and Microsoft agree to a decade-long deal ensuring the availability of Call of Duty on the PlayStation platform, potentially paving the way for Microsoft’s planned acquisition of Activision Blizzard.
Resolving the Call of Duty Dispute
After months of public and emotional disputes, Sony and Microsoft have found common ground over the popular Call of Duty series. An agreement, signed by both parties, ensures the continuation of the revenue-generating game series on PlayStation for ten more years, even after Microsoft’s anticipated takeover of Activision Blizzard. The announcement of this landmark agreement followed a US appellate court decision denying the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) request to block the acquisition.
The Sony’s Prudent Concession
Originally, Microsoft offered to keep all existing Activision console games, including future versions of the Call of Duty series, on Sony until the end of 2027. Sony declined. With the new agreement, Sony secures a significantly extended ten-year guarantee for Call of Duty’s presence on PlayStation, reinforcing the console’s competitive position in the gaming market.
Microsoft’s Acquisition Strategy
Microsoft’s proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard is a part of a strategic plan to strengthen its game portfolio, enhance its Xbox Game Pass subscriptions, and boost its cloud gaming services. This colossal $69 billion deal is expected to be one of the largest in the tech industry and, upon completion, would see popular titles available on Microsoft’s subscription gaming service from day one.
The corporate saga surrounding Microsoft’s proposed Activision Blizzard acquisition and its impact on the Call of Duty franchise has left much shattered glass. Despite the animosity, negotiations, and legal hurdles, the new agreement between Sony and Microsoft stands as a testament to the possibility of collaboration in the face of competition. However, the last hurdle to Microsoft’s acquisition remains – approval from the UK competition authorities. But with the newfound agreement, the finalization of the deal might just be accelerated.