Xbox boss Phil Spencer will do 'whatever it takes' to keep the franchise on PlayStation
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Featured Image Credit: Microsoft, Sony
The ongoing saga of Microsoft’s pending acquisition of Activision Blizzard continues to loom with the future of Call of Duty up in the air.
In January 2022, Microsoft took the first steps to acquire Call of Duty, World of Warcraft and Overwatch publisher Activision Blizzard in an eye-watering deal worth $68.7 billion. By now, it was hoped by the parties involved that the deal would have been sealed.
However, with continuous twists in the tale, Microsoft, Activision Blizzard and the video game community as a whole are wondering if the deal will ever be concluded. The latest major twists in the tale came from the UK market regulator, the CMA, and the US market regulator, the FTC, who have both attempted to block the deal.
Concerns have been raised in the past, in particular by the CMA, that should Microsoft successfully acquire Activision Blizzard, it would have too much of a firm grip on the cloud gaming monopoly. Additionally, Sony has raised concerns that Microsoft might at a later date choose to make Call of Duty an Xbox exclusive, removing it from PlayStation consoles. That being said, looking from the outside in, Microsoft has already stated that it wouldn't be profitable to make Call of Duty an Xbox exclusive.
Sure, it would result in having one of the biggest video game franchises as a first-party exclusive for the green brand, but in turn, it would no doubt have a negative impact on revenue given that for decades, Call of Duty has been a multi-platform cash cow, especially with the likes of the free-to-play battle royale, Call of Duty: Warzone.
What’s more, Microsoft has already reportedly offered Nintendo and PlayStation 10-year deals to ensure Call of Duty remains on both platforms for the foreseeable future. Furthermore, as reported by IGN, when representing Microsoft during the FTC trial, Xbox chief Phil Spencer claims that he will do ‘whatever it takes’ to keep the Call of Duty franchise on PlayStation, while under oath.
“I would raise my hand. I will do whatever it takes,” said Spencer in court. “We have no plan. I'm making a commitment standing here that we will not pull Call of Duty - it is my testimony - from PlayStation."
He continued: “As you said, Sony obviously has to allow us to ship the game on their platform. But absent any of that, my commitment is, and my testimony is that we will continue to ship future versions of Call of Duty on Sony's PlayStation 5.” That being said, I can’t help but notice the line “continue to ship future versions of Call of Duty on Sony's PlayStation 5,” with no mention of the next Sony console. Make of that what you will.