The hugely popular Call of Duty title will remain on Sony’s PlayStation, Microsoft has confirmed, amid speculation that the game would become exclusive to Xbox following the tech giant’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard.
The gaming industry is still reeling from the ramifications of Microsoft’s $69 billion deal to acquire Call of Duty developer Activision Blizzard with the future of the game — a huge hit on both Xbox and PlayStation consoles — up in the air.
However, Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer has now suggested that the company would allow Sony to retain the rights to the series after the acquisition goes through.
“Had good calls this week with leaders at Sony,” Spencer said in a tweet.
“I confirmed our intent to honor all existing agreements upon acquisition of Activision Blizzard and our desire to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation. Sony is an important part of our industry, and we value our relationship.”
Microsoft has previously tended to turn its acquisitions into exclusives — it plans to release Bethesda Softworks’ upcoming Starfield game only on PC and Xbox. Spencer has also hinted that The Elder Scrolls VI would meet the same fate. The approach makes sense for Microsoft as a means to shore up its Game Pass subscription service.
However, Call of Duty will not be the first title to be shared by Microsoft. Minecraft remains available on different platforms years after Microsoft acquired Mojang. It has also released Minecraft Dungeons on PlayStation, Nintendo Switch, Xbox, and PC.
Microsoft’s announcement would come as a relief for Sony — the Japanese technology giant’s stock tanked following the Windows maker’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard.
Sony Group said in a statement to The Wall Street Journal that Microsoft would abide by contractual agreements and ensure Activision Blizzard games remained multiplatform.
The acquisition, however, still has a long way to go before being complete and is not expected to close until the end of Microsoft’s 2023 fiscal year ending in June 2023.