Microsoft has signed an agreement to ensure that the popular video game franchise, Call of Duty, remains available on PlayStation following its acquisition of Activision Blizzard. Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer shared the news in a tweet on Sunday. Relieving concerns about the acquisition’s potential impact on competition.
The deal to retain Call of Duty on PlayStation consoles is expected to address concerns raised by regulators and further promote healthy competition in the gaming industry. Microsoft President Brad Smith also expressed Microsoft’s commitment to expanding access to Call of Duty across platforms, stating in a tweet. “Even after we cross the finish line for this deal’s approval, we will remain focused on ensuring that Call of Duty remains available on more platforms and for more consumers than ever before.”
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) had raised concerns that the acquisition could harm consumers who play video games on consoles or have subscriptions. As Microsoft may have had an incentive to exclude rivals like Sony Group. To address these concerns, Microsoft had previously agreed to license Call of Duty to competitors. Including a 10-year contract with Nintendo, contingent upon the completion of the merger.
Microsoft’s Acquisition Plans: Aims to Compete with Tencent and Sony
Microsoft initially announced its bid to acquire Activision in January 2022, with the aim of competing with rivals Tencent and Sony. As part of the initial agreements, both Nintendo and Spain’s Nware signed 10-year licensing deals. To bring Call of Duty and Activision Blizzard games to their respective gaming platforms, subject to regulatory approval. However, Microsoft’s recent decision ensures that Call of Duty will continue to be available on PlayStation consoles.
Approval for the acquisition has already been granted by Brazil, Chile, Serbia, and Saudi Arabia without any conditions. The deal is still pending approval from other regulatory bodies.
The agreement to retain Call of Duty on PlayStation consoles marks a significant step in preserving consumer choice and access to the popular franchise. It reflects Microsoft’s commitment to ensuring a competitive and inclusive gaming ecosystem. Benefiting players across different platforms.