Microsoft to keep ‘Call of Duty’ on Playstation, signs a 10-year deal with Sony

Microsoft to keep ‘Call of Duty’ on Playstation, signs a 10-year deal with Sony

Tech News

Microsoft Corp. has signed a binidng agreement with Sony to keep the Call of Duty franchise on the Sony Playstation platform following the acquisition of Activision Blizzard. 

With the agreement, the company seeks to address regulators’ concerns that the merger would make more Activision games — such as the massively popular shooting-game franchise — exclusive to Xbox.

The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) had earlier argued the deal would hurt consumers whether they played video games on consoles or had subscriptions because Microsoft would have an incentive to shut out rivals like Sony Group.

The announcement was made by Microsoft gaming chief Phil Spencer via a post on micro blogging site Twitter.

“We are pleased to announce that Microsoft and @PlayStation have signed a binding agreement to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation following the acquisition of Activision Blizzard,” Microsoft gaming chief Phil Spencer said on Twitter.

As confirmed by a Microsoft spokesperson, the deal is for 10 years. Microsoft inked a similar 10-year deal last year with Nintendo Co. Ltd. for the availablility of Call of Duty.

Microsoft’s acquistion of Activision Blizzard is one of the largest-ever gaming deals. As reported by Bloomberg, a path for the largest-ever gaming deal to close was cleared Friday when an appeals court denied a Federal Trade Commission bid to pause the acquisition. 

The court’s decision comes after a federal judge ruled in favor of Microsoft earlier in the week, stating that the FTC had not provided sufficient evidence to prove that the deal would violate antitrust laws. Following the judge’s ruling, the FTC filed an appeal on Wednesday, which Microsoft has stated it will contest.

The main remaining hurdle comes from the UK Competition and Markets Authority, which has agreed to give Microsoft an unprecedented second chance to come up with a remedy after vetoing the merger in April on concerns about the deal’s impact on the cloud gaming market. 

(With inputs from agencies)


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Updated: 17 Jul 2023, 01:21 PM IST

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