In a recent interview with the New York Times, Microsoft confirmed that it offered a 10-year contract to Sony on November 11 that would keep Call of Duty on PlayStation. Sony has raised concerns regarding the potentially exclusive nature of Call of Duty, leading Microsoft to accuse Sony of misleading regulators.
Xbox has been making some pretty big moves in recent years with major acquisitions like Zenimax Media (Bethesda) and now Activision-Blizzard-King. IPs like Candy Crush and Call of Duty are perhaps some of the most valuable in the media/gaming space, so it’s no surprise that Microsoft’s acquisition of publishers draws intense scrutiny from gaming regulators. all the world.
“The first call Satya and I made after the deal was announced was to the CEO of Sony to say, ‘Hey, we’re going to keep Call of Duty on your platform.'” said Phil Spencer, CEO of Microsoft Gaming/Xbox. Regulators in Saudi Arabia and Brazil have so far approved the deal, with a total of 14 other regulators yet to approve.
Also read: PlayStation is not happy with Xbox’s Call of Duty offering, calls it “inadequate on many levels”
Sony has yet to comment on the reportedly proposed Microsoft/Xbox 10-year Call of Duty deal.
Sony has been accused of misleading regulators as to the value of the Call of Duty franchise to its viability by Microsoft. Jim Ryan, CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment, reacted with an official statement, in which he denied these allegations and called Microsoft a “tech giant with a track record of dominant industries.”
[Microsoft is] a tech giant with a long history of dominating industries,” Ryan told the NYTimes. “It is very likely that the options that players have today will disappear if this deal goes ahead.”
For several years now, PlayStation users have enjoyed a number of exclusive benefits in Call of Duty games, such as exclusive skins, early access, and in-game bonuses. This acquisition puts that proposition at risk, as there’s a good chance Xbox will try to block COD users on their platforms.
Spencer recently commented regarding the status of Call of Duty on PlayStation that Activision will continue to ship COD titles to PlayStation “as long as there’s a PlayStation to ship to.” While this was pretty comforting news at first for Sony, the reported 10-year deal doesn’t seem to line up with the feedback.
It will be interesting to see how this plays out, especially given how successful the latest entry in the series has been. Call of Duty Modern Warfare II is now the fastest selling title in franchise history and is on its way to becoming the most successful in the series.
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