UPDATE: Microsoft’s new CEO of Gaming says the company will honour all the existing contractual agreements between Activision and Sony, following this week’s acquisition announcement.
Spencer also spoke of a ‘desire’ to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation.
In a tweet, Spencer wrote: “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.”
The statement is far from definitive for worried PS5 owners and the future of Call of Duty on the platform – and others after those current agreements expire – remains very unclear.
Original story continues below…
Amid Microsoft’s pending blockbuster takeover of Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion, it’s possible that Microsoft may make the immense stable of games Xbox/PC exclusives.
That would shut out PlayStation gamers from iconic franchises they have previously taken for granted. However, Sony isn’t about to let that fly. In a terse statement to the Wall Street Journal, the PS5-maker left Microsoft in no doubt about its expectations.
The statement reads: “We expect that Microsoft will abide by contractual agreements and continue to ensure Activision games are multi-platform.”
However, what those contractual agreements are remains to be seen. Which games do they cover? How long are they in effect for? Does Microsoft’s pending takeover invalidate any agreements? Does Sony have any legal recourse if they lose the games?
It seems that we might be shaping up for a fight over this, if Microsoft decides it wants franchises like Call of Duty, Crash Bandicoot and Diablo all to itself.
You might like…
Earlier this week the company’s new CEO of Microsoft Gaming Phil Spencer told Bloomberg: “I’ll just say to players out there who are playing Activision Blizzard games on Sony’s platform: It’s not our intent to pull communities away from that platform and we remained committed to that.”
However, if recent form is followed, Microsoft will have no qualms in making its first-party property, first-party exclusive. After buying Bethesda, it quickly revealed the forthcoming Starfield game will not be available on PlayStation consoles. That could be a sign of things to come.
As I pointed out in my column today, Microsoft may be edging towards an endgame where Xbox Game Pass is on PS5, while my colleague Ryan Jones reckons the future of PlayStation is now looking bleak if it doesn’t change its plan. Interesting times are ahead. Is there one huge battle left in the console wars?