Update: Xbox head Phil Spencer has confirmed that future Call of Duty titles will also be available on PlayStation; the franchise will not be exclusive to Xbox due to previous agreements. Spencer also complimented Sony, praising the company’s role in the industry.
Had good calls this week with leaders at Sony. 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.— Phil Spencer (@XboxP3) January 20, 2022
Microsoft announced on Tuesday that it would be acquiring Activision Blizzard, the gaming giant behind Call of Duty, Diablo, and other iconic franchises, in an all-cash transaction valued at $68.7 billion.
Xbox fanboys have taken the opportunity to poke fun at their rivals by claiming that they will never see new Activision titles such as Call of Duty on their consoles again due to the industry-shaking agreement, but hope has come to PlayStation owners in the form of a new report from the Wall Street Journal that suggests Xbox is unlikely to enjoy that level of exclusivity. According to a spokesperson with Sony, future Activision games are expected to remain multiplatform due to pre-existing legal agreements.
“We expect that Microsoft will abide by contractual agreements and continue to ensure Activision games are multiplatform,” a Sony spokesman told the Wall Street Journal in a paywalled article shared today.
“Sony shares plummeted 13% in Tokyo on Wednesday in the wake of Microsoft’s announcement of a $69 billion deal to acquire Activision and its portfolio of big-name franchises such as Call of Duty, Diablo, World of Warcraft and Candy Crush Saga,” noted Bloomberg in separate coverage. “The blockbuster deal was seen as a major coup to secure exclusive content for Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass subscription service and a threat to Sony’s traditional console business model.”
Microsoft has yet to confirm whether any of Activision Blizzard’s future titles will be Xbox exclusive, but next-generation Call of Duty games being released solely for PC and Xbox consoles would be amusing for various reasons. One is that the Call of Duty franchise has had a history of featuring content that was available only to PlayStation gamers.