In a pivotal moment for the gaming industry, Microsoft and Sony have settled their differences, forging an agreement to keep the popular franchise “Call of Duty” accessible on PlayStation platforms, even as the Activision Blizzard merger progresses. This unexpected agreement, arriving after a prolonged period of corporate dispute, indicates the inevitable conclusion of the acquisition process.

Announcement from Microsoft Gaming CEO

Phil Spencer, the CEO of Microsoft Gaming, took to Twitter to announce this significant development on July 16th, stating, “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. We look forward to a future where players globally have more choice to play their favorite games.”

Unveiled Details and Previous Collaborations

As of now, the exact terms and conditions that govern this agreement remain undisclosed. Speculation surrounds whether the present deal parallels the proposals Microsoft has previously agreed upon with Nintendo and other cloud gaming entities. Historically, Sony has invested in securing special privileges with Activision concerning the Call of Duty series, including exclusive content for a limited time and distinctive marketing rights. Activision utilized its collaboration with Sony as a bargaining chip to secure improved commission rates for the series on the Xbox platform, a fact revealed in recent courtroom confrontations over the acquisition.

Sony’s Position and Future Prospects

Sony has been a stern opponent of Microsoft’s intention to acquire the publisher, raising objections in regulatory meetings across the US, the UK, and Europe. Following a setback in the legal arena where the Federal Trade Commission’s attempt to halt the deal was thwarted, Sony seems to have opted for a strategic retreat. Despite Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Jim Ryan’s earlier expressed intentions of solely aiming to block the acquisition, the current circumstances signify a change of tactics.

The existing contract between Sony and Activision, slated to last until 2025, seems poised to continue, potentially extending throughout the PS5’s lifecycle. Microsoft has consistently maintained that making the series exclusive does not align with their financial strategy, acknowledging the substantial revenue generated from the sales on the rival platform.

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