Sony and Microsoft have now agreed to a limited Call of Duty deal to keep the franchise on the PlayStation after the latter won the Activision Blizzard acquisition deal. According to Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer, both companies have now agreed to a “binding agreement” to keep the franchise on the “blue side.”
Sony and Microsoft Shake Hands for New Agreement
With this new agreement, Sony and Microsoft have now ended their long conflict that has been done both privately and publicly over the past year after the latter revealed its big plans for acquiring Activision Blizzard in January 2022.
Microsoft’s Original Deal with Sony
The first announcement by Microsoft did not specify 10 years for Call of Duty on PlayStation, but it was officially confirmed by Head of Global Communications at Xbox Kari Perez to The Verge. Later, Perez confirmed that the deal is only limited to the Call of Duty franchise.
This new agreement is way different from the initial deal offer that Microsoft conjured up for Sony in January 2022. The original deal was to keep “all existing Activision console titles on Sony, including future versions in the Call of Duty franchise or any other current Activision franchise on Sony through December 31st, 2027.” Now, it is only limited to the Call of Duty franchise and has extended the deal to 10 years.
Sony Fears Call of Duty Future
Sony consistently pushed back in signing a Call of Duty deal with Microsoft after the latter first offered a 10-year contract in December 2022. Sony then told the regulators when doing filings that it is fearful that Microsoft will make Call of Duty exclusive to Xbox in the future and might cause trouble to the PlayStation versions of the game.
Jim Ryan Drops a Bombshell
Surprisingly, PlayStation boss Jim Ryan read out an email in court during the FTC v. Microsoft hearing saying he was not actually worried about Call of Duty exclusivity. He even said clearly that “pretty sure we will continue to see Call of Duty on PlayStation for many years to come.” It seems the boss helped out in a roundabout way.
It’s Already a Win for Microsoft
Now, after three appeals have been rejected by Judge Corley and the other courts, the US FTC stands defeated and the only hurdle to overcome is UK CMA’s extension of the final decision for Microsoft’s Activision Blizzard acquisition deal. It’s practically already a win for Microsoft at this point.