Microsoft: Call of Duty on PlayStation beyond contracts

Since Microsoft surprised us with the announcement of the purchase of Activision Blizzard, Many PlayStation gamers have been wondering about the future of Call of Duty on Sony’s gaming platform.. This is not something new, we already saw many similar fears when Redmond took over Zenimax, back in October 2020. However, at least for now, we have not seen that Microsoft has excluded Sony from Bethesda’s plans, id Software and Obsidian.

Microsoft gave, a couple of weeks ago, a first response to these fears, confirming that at least three new Call of Duty would come to PlayStation, a first oxygen ball that, however, was not a big surprise either. And let us not forget that, before the announcement of the purchase operation, Activision Blizzard had signed contracts with Sony in this regard. What Microsoft did, in the first instance, was to confirm that they would respect said contracts, leaving in the air what will happen when said deliveries are completed, and Activision Blizzard’s contractual obligations with Sony have concluded.

Well, if you are one of the brand new owners of a PlayStation 5, and until now you have been concerned about what plans Redmond had with CoD, we have good news. And it is that in one of the company’s blogs, Brad Smith, president of Microsoft, has published an entry that will interest you. It is not a specific text about Call of Duty, nor about the acquisition of Activision Blizzard, it is actually a reflection on where the app store market is headed, an issue that has already been discussed previously.

However, within it we find an explicit reference to the subject we are talking about, this is the text:

«First, some commentators have wondered if popular content like Activision’s Call of Duty will continue to be offered on competing platforms like Sony’s PlayStation. The obvious concern is that Microsoft could make this title available exclusively on the Xbox console, taking options away from users of Sony’s PlayStation.

To be clear, Microsoft will continue to make Call of Duty and other popular Activision Blizzard titles available on PlayStation for the duration of any existing agreement with Activision. And we have made a commitment to Sony that we will also make them available on PlayStation beyond the existing agreement and in the future., so Sony fans can continue to enjoy the games they love. We are also interested in taking similar steps to support Nintendo’s successful platform. We think it’s the right thing to do for the industry, for players and for our business.»

A whole declaration of intent, by Microsoft, which should reassure all fans of the franchise who, in recent weeks, have harbored doubts (legitimate, without any doubt) about what position Microsoft would take in this regard. And it is that, of course, a first and quick analysis of the situation, invites us to think that it could try to take advantage of all the studies that it has acquired not only to reinforce the Xbox catalog, but also to reduce that of PlayStation.

Microsoft: Call of Duty on PlayStation beyond contracts

However, it does not seem very feasible that a user of a certain platform, be it A or B, will switch to the other in the next generation for a single title, so if they act like this, Microsoft would be exposed to losing a gigantic volume of customers (those who were Activision Blizzard), not sure if the conversion rate from PlayStation to Xbox would compensate for these losses. And, let’s not forget, Call of Duty, with its lights and shadows, is still a great money-making machine.

But there is still more, and that is why this public statement by Brad Smith is not at all surprising. On one hand, we have the clear positioning, by Microsoft, in the confrontation between Apple and Epic Games, on the side of the latter. And although the relationship is not totally direct, it is undeniable that such a position would not fit very well with a policy of preventing PlayStation players from accessing Activision Blizzard titles.

And the other big reason is that, surely, by now regulators have started to get a little nervous about studio acquisitions by the technology. At the moment they seem reasonably permissive, but they are most likely waiting for a false move by any of these companies (and to stop bringing Call of Duty to PlayStation would be) to adopt much tougher positions, which in the case of Microsoft would be against his commitment to continue adding top-line titles to Xbox Game Pass.

It is early to tell what the future will bring, but we have enough reasons to think that Call of Duty will continue on PlayStation for a long time. And in my case, as a person who does not see exclusive titles as a strategic advantage of the platforms, but as a limitation for the players, that Microsoft has positioned itself in this way seems to me, without a doubt, excellent news. Of course, I would love to be able to play Gran Turismo on Xbox and Halo on PlayStation, surely I’m too idealistic.

Call of Duty is, without a doubt, one of the most successful franchises todayIn fact, you can find Call of Duty: Warzone, its Battle Royale, in the selection of the best 30 free games for PC. Microsoft is certainly well aware of this, and I find it hard to think that it could be so clumsy as to make a misstep in that regard, and consciously and intentionally reduce that scope.

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