In an important development, Microsoft and Sony’s PlayStation division have announced a binding agreement to address concerns and ensure the continued availability of the widely popular game franchise, Call of Duty, on PlayStation platforms. This significant announcement comes in the wake of Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard, which raised questions about the future availability of the game across different platforms.
Pleased Announcement by Phil Spencer
Phil Spencer, the Head of Microsoft Gaming and Xbox, took to Twitter to share the news, expressing his satisfaction with the binding agreement between Microsoft and PlayStation. He stated that they are pleased to announce the agreement, which guarantees that Call of Duty will remain accessible on PlayStation platforms following Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard. As reported by The Verge, this commitment has resulted in a 10-year deal.
We are pleased to announce that Microsoft and @PlayStation have signed a binding agreement to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation following the acquisition of Activision Blizzard. We look forward to a future where players globally have more choice to play their favorite games.
— Phil Spencer (@XboxP3) July 16, 2023
Addressing Concerns and Regulator Involvement
The purpose of this agreement is to address concerns raised by regulators regarding the potential impact of Microsoft’s acquisition on competition. Microsoft’s Vice Chair and President, Brad Smith, emphasized their commitment to resolving these concerns.
Alleviating Fears of Exclusivity and Limited Access
By securing the availability of Call of Duty on PlayStation platforms, this agreement helps alleviate fears that Microsoft’s increased market dominance would lead to exclusivity or limited access to the game on rival platforms. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) had expressed concerns previously, citing the potential for reduced competition and consumer choice.
Commitment to Licensing and Collaboration
The FTC argued that Microsoft may have had an incentive to restrict access to the popular game for rivals like Sony, which could have negatively impacted both console players and those with gaming subscriptions. In response to these concerns, Microsoft had already committed to licensing “Call of Duty” to other industry players. Notably, they had also entered into a 10-year contract agreement with Nintendo, pending the completion of the merger.
Ensuring Continuity and Expanding Player Base
With this agreement, players can be rest assured that Call of Duty will continue to be available on PlayStation platforms, ensuring continuity and uninterrupted access to the beloved franchise.
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published: Monday, July 17, 2023, 12:36 [IST]