The Call of Duty license now belongs to Microsoft. The Redmond company would release the next three opuses on PlayStation, Activision-Blizzard being linked to Sony by contract. After that, the saga may well become an Xbox exclusive.
Microsoft acquired Activision-Blizzard on January 18, 2022 for $68 billion. The Redmond firm has thus become the owner of licenses such as Warcraft, Candy Crush… but above all Call of Duty. The question then arises: what future for the franchise?
Call of Duty has been Activision-Blizzard’s goose for over fifteen years now. Each title is released on PC as well as Xbox and PlayStation. After the takeover of Microsoft, fans who play on Sony’s console are worried. Will they still be able to enjoy their favorite license? Today, we have the beginning of an answer.
The next three Call of Duty will be released on PlayStation
The situation is still unclear about the future of the license, but Jason Schreier, the famous Bloomberg journalist, went to investigate to find out what awaits us. He thus asserts that Microsoft is bound to Sony by contract. This is a deal signed between the Japanese manufacturer and Activision-Blizzard before the takeover.
This contract stipulates that the next three Call of Duty will have to be released on PlayStation. This brings us to 2023. Indeed, three games are currently in development: Modern Warfare 2 scheduled for the end of the year, another episode for the end of 2023 as well as a new version of Warzone. The latter would be planned only for new generation consoles and would also arrive in 2023.
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The contract goes no further. In effect, this means that afterwards, Call of Duty will no longer be forced to release on PlayStation and could therefore become an Xbox exclusive. For the moment, nothing is done yet. Bloomberg also talks about the abandonment of an annual release (a first since the second installment in 2005). This event could represent the break that the series needs to renew itself, but also the opportunity for Microsoft to review the way it distributes its game.
Note that we found this same scenario last year. Bethesda had signed contracts with Sony before being acquired by Microsoft. Thus, Deathloop is a PlayStation exclusive while the game belongs to the Redmond firm. Same thing for the future Ghostwire Tokyo.