Microsoft’s takeover of Activision Blizzard King is still under review by various competition authorities around the world and could be finalized in the spring of 2023. Xbox boss Phil Spencer admits to spending a lot of time with regulators in this moment, and gave a little clarification as to the future of the Call of Duty franchise.
Call of Duty should stay on PlayStation as long as there are consoles
Many discussions revolve around the Call of Duty franchise and Sony has already mentioned its fears of seeing the license disappear from its platforms. However, Microsoft says it has offered Sony commitments that go beyond the contracts already signed between PlayStation and Activision. But this does not seem sufficient in the eyes of Sony who is afraid to see Xbox create advantages specific with this license.
Until now, Xbox has always said that its wish was to see the Call of Duty license continue to be released on PlayStation. And today, during an interview with the Youtube channel Same BrainPhil Spencer went a little further.
We are not going to remove Call of Duty from PlayStation, that is not our intention. We don’t want that as long as there’s a PlayStation console to release on. [Call of Duty].
Our goal is to release Call of Duty on PlayStation similar to what we’ve done with Minecraft since we got it, where we’ve instead expanded the places people can play Minecraft. We didn’t reduce that, and it went well. It’s been beneficial to the Minecraft community, in my opinion, and I want to do the same when we think about Call of Duty in the next few years.
Regarding Xbox, Phil Spencer says that the best addition they can make is to bring these games to the Xbox Game Pass catalog, but not to remove them from other platforms, quite the contrary. Just a few days ago, Xbox would like to release Call of Duty on Nintendo Switch after the Activision takeover Phil Spencer told the Wall Street Journal that he would love to see Call of Duty on Nintendo Switch after the Activision takeover.
Note, however, that despite its statements, Microsoft does not seem ready to set in stone the availability of Call of Duty on PlayStation. Sony wants Call of Duty for life, but the future of the license on PlayStation will remain in fact uncertain from the years 2025/2026, when the contracts with Activision end. Until now, Microsoft has always spoken of a “desire” to continue releasing Call of Duty on PlayStation, a nuance that still persists today.
Two weeks ago we discovered Microsoft’s arguments in response to those of the CMA. Microsoft indicated in particular that even without Call of Duty, “PlayStation’s player base would still be significantly larger than Xbox’s today. »
Of course, continuing to release the Call of Duty license on PlayStation would represent a significant financial windfall for Microsoft. Just today, PlayStation has confirmed that Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II was the biggest launch of a game from the license on the PlayStation Store.
The acquisition of Activision could be validated in the spring of 2023
The question that everyone is asking is when the takeover will be validated. Some already imagined that it could be done at the end of the year, but it is unlikely that things will go so quickly.
We are now in the regulatory process, which means that I spend a lot of time in front of regulators to talk about this industry and our intentions on this deal.
We expect this to be validated during the current fiscal year, which for Microsoft ends in June. We believe it will be within this time frame. I’m pretty confident in closing the deal. Like I said, I’ve been spending time with regulators and I think they’re asking good, honest questions about a deal like this, which is one of the biggest Microsoft’s ever done, and definitely the biggest. big thing about me, which sometimes keeps me awake at night.
Unless there is a surprise, see you in the spring of 2023 for the formalization (or not) of the takeover of Activision Blizzard King by Microsoft. The British authorities must return their verdict in March 2023.