Xbox boss says he wants “to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation” | TheSixthAxis



Xbox boss Phil Spencer has taken to Twitter to talk about one of the key bones of contention surrounding the agreed acquisition of Activision Blizzard by Microsoft. While Sony has stated that they expect Microsoft to honour contractual agreements with Activision, Spencer has now confirmed that it’s Microsoft’s intention to “keep Call of Duty on PlayStation.”

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This follows previous statements in interviews that “It’s not our intent to pull communities away from that platform and we remained committed to that,” but there’s still plenty of leeway in the practical act of keeping COD on PlayStation. This is a statement that has absolutely been framed in a way that’s meant to please government regulators, similar to those made in the run up to the Bethesda acquisition last year.

Call of Duty is no longer a single product line for Activision, and is instead made up of the yearly main game releases like Call of Duty: Vanguard, alongside the free-to-play battle royale Call of Duty: Warzone, and the free-to-play mobile shooter Call of Duty: Mobile.

Sony has an exclusive content agreement with Activision that guarantees them some kind of bonus content for PlayStation. When regular map packs were still a thing in 2015 that was a one month head start on DLC releases, but that has morphed into PlayStation exclusive game modes and now, for Vanguard, PlayStation exclusive cosmetics and XP boosts.

The most likely course of action for Microsoft to take is to have the main Call of Duty games continue to release on PlayStation through the course of the agreement with Sony – up until the 2024 Call of Duty if they have been signing 5-year deals – and only then shift the game to being an Xbox exclusive. After that point, Microsoft can say that COD is still on PlayStation by keeping a free-to-play game like Warzone on Sony’s consoles.

It could even be that Call of Duty no longer sees yearly releases, as Spencer said in an interview with the Washington Post that he will talk with the many studios toiling on COD content “about working on a variety of franchises” from the Activision Blizzard vaults. Even the developers of Crash Bandicoot 4 and Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 have been roped into supporting efforts at Activision and Blizzard, and there’s no denying that it would be good to see Activision’s 11 studios no longer beholden to grinding out content for a single franchise.

All of this follows Microsoft’s track record with recent acquisitions. Psychonauts 2 was a cross-platform release, albeit with an Xbox Series X|S exclusive upgrade for the new generation, while Wasteland 3 was released with Koch Media publishing. Similarly, despite having acquired Bethesda at the start of last year, Microsoft is honouring the exclusivity agreements that have made Deathloop and Ghostwire Tokyo into timed PlayStation 5 exclusives. Of course, where there hasn’t been an existing agreement, Microsoft and Bethesda have confirmed that Starfield, Redfall will be Xbox console exclusives, and hinted that The Elder Scrolls VI will follow suit.

Source: Twitter

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