Microsoft has reportedly offered Sony the option to include Call of Duty in its PlayStation Plus service. It looks like Microsoft is going all out in an attempt to make its merger with Activision Blizzard King happen. The FTC confirmed that it will file a lawsuit to block the nearly $69 billion merger and this appears to be an effort by Microsoft to appease the regulator.
The FTC argues that Microsoft’s merger with Activision Blizzard King does not create a healthy competitive market within the gaming industry. It seems that now Microsoft is willing to play nice with the competitors in the space, specifically, Nintendo and PlayStation.
Microsoft recently cemented a 10-year deal to bring Call of Duty to Nintendo. Now, Sony’s offer looks like an attempt for Sony to de-escalate when it comes to opposing the merger. Bloomberg reports that Sony has yet to reach an agreement on the deal, and it will be interesting to see how this plays out.
Also read: Call of Duty takeover of Microsoft and Diablo’s Studio Activision runs into Rocky Waters; He could be challenged for $69 billion
Call of Duty on PlayStation Plus? Win-win potential for both Microsoft and Sony
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II is now available for PS4 and PS5! pic.twitter.com/CU9GG853DI
—PlayStation (@PlayStation) October 31, 2022
While it was believed that Microsoft offered Sony the same 10-year deal that it offered Nintendo with respect to Call of Duty, the PlayStation company did not consider it appropriate. It would seem that the FTC’s apprehension of the merger has softened Microsoft’s stance when it comes to the rigidity of Call of Duty’s cross-platform status.
The Call of Duty franchise is still incredibly popular and looks like an even bigger cross-platform console game than ever before. Its availability on PlayStation Plus will surely go a long way to bolster Microsoft’s argument that its merger with Activision Blizzard won’t discourage competition.
While the merger deal isn’t quite dead yet, Microsoft has a pretty steep hill to climb from this point on. The company previously projected the deal to close in June 2023, but now that the FTC has filed a lawsuit to block the deal, the June window looks “optimistic,” to say the least.
It would stand to reason that Microsoft/Xbox would previously look to block Call of Duty on their platforms after the 10-year agreement, but that seems incredibly difficult now. The Xbox brand has made a comeback in recent years, but it still finds it hard to compete with the vastness of Sony’s offerings in terms of first-party exclusives.
The Bethesda acquisition will likely move the needle on the back of exclusives like Starfield, but Call of Duty really could have changed the landscape forever. It will be interesting to see how this plays out and whether Microsoft will offer even more concessions to its competitors in the gaming space.
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