Last week, Microsoft won in a U.S. court against the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which had tried to block the conglomerate's acquisition of Activision Blizzard (although the FTC has yet to file an appeal). This is not what Sony had hoped for, but it is apparent that even the Japanese company, which had been doing everything it could over the past few years to prevent the deal, has finally given up.
- Sony has signed a deal with Microsoft, that guarantees the release of Call of Duty games on PlayStation consoles until 2033.
- This is an important moment, as Sony raised as a major argument against the acquisition that Microsoft could make the Call of Duty series exclusive to PC and Xbox.
- Microsoft, in a bid to push through Activision Blizzard acquisition, began to offer other companies deals like this, which guarantee the release of future installments on their platforms. These were previously accepted by Nintendo and Nvidia (in this case, the availability of Call of Duty games GeForce Now).
- After the FTC lost in court, Sony apparently decided that blocking the acquisition was no longer feasible, so signing the deal was an obvious move for the Japanese corporation.
- It is worth noting that the deal covers only the Call of Duty series. Initially, in 2022, Microsoft offered to release all Activision Blizzard games on PlayStation consoles until 2027, but Sony was not interested back then. Now the same offer is no longer valid.
Unfortunately, we don't know the details of the deal. A few months ago Sony expressed concerns, that even if the Call of Duty games will be released on PlayStation consoles, there is plenty of scope for Microsoft to make these versions less attractive, such as by degrading the quality of these releases.
At the time, the Redmond giant said it was ready to establish an independent control body to make sure that the Sony console versions had identical quality and content. At the time, Microsoft guaranteed that the games would also be available in the PS Plus subscription, as it was feared that their presence in Game Pass could hurt the competition.
We don't know how many of these stipulations were included in the final agreement between Microsoft and Sony.
- Microsoft - official website
- Activision Blizzard - official website