Xbox boss Phil Spencer has once again promised that, should their $68 billion Activision Blizzard acquisition be approved, Call of Duty games will continue to release on PlayStation with no strings attached.
“There’s nothing hidden,” he said on the Decoder podcast. “We want to continue to ship Call of Duty on PlayStation without any kind of weird ‘aha I figured out the gotcha.'”
So, to shut down certain suggestions that this might be just Warzone, that it might be purely through game streaming, or some requirement that Sony allow Game Pass onto PlayStation, Spencer was as explicit as possible to rule all of these things out.
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 2 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.
It’s around about the 73rd time that Spencer has had to commit to Call of Duty continuing to appear on PlayStation, his and Xbox’s statements on the matter becoming more and more open. We’re probably quite close to him saying that Call of Duty will be on PlayStation until the heat death of the universe and signing a statement with his own blood.
In fact, something like that might actually be what ends up happening. He said, “This idea that we would write a contract that says the word forever in it I think is a little bit silly, but to make a longer term commitment that Sony would be comfortable with, regulators would be comfortable with, I have no issue with that at all.”
All of this comes with the looming shadow of regulatory bodies investigating the huge acquisition. The UK’s investigation has been going on for a few months now, but the EU has also opened an investigation over whether this will affect competition in the market place. To secure their approval, Microsoft may be forced into making certain concessions, and an ironclad pledge to keep COD on PlayStation for all time might be exactly what’s needed here.
This comes after Sony’s vociferous arguments against allowing the acquisition, calling Microsoft’s offers to date “inadequate” after they sent the offer of a multi-year agreement that promised parity until 2027. Sony’s main complaint will now be that they can no longer compete for advantageous content exclusivity deals, if Microsoft owns the franchise. It’s unlikely that their stance will soften at any point over this, no matter what Microsoft puts on the table.
Source: The Verge