Earlier in the week, Microsoft announced its intention to buy Activision Blizzard for a whopping $68.7 billion. A takeover which has yet to be validated by the competent authorities but which still raises questions concerning the franchises concerned. In the case of call of duty, Xbox wanted to address PlayStation gamers.
a future xbox exclusive?
With this colossal takeover, Microsoft intends to become the third largest power in the video game industry, behind Tencent and Sony. Among the franchises encompassed by this takeover, we find big names in video games such as Warcraft, Overwatch, Diablo, Crash Bandicoot, spyro and, of course, Call of Duty. Licenses whose future is tinged with gray, at a time when exclusivities are tilting purchase intentions one way or the other. And with this takeover, the biggest in the industry at the moment, Microsoft is hitting hard.
Nevertheless, the questions of possible exclusivities arise for franchises accustomed to multi-platform releases such as call of duty. A license that has even signed a partnership with PlayStation for its next opus. Will the agreements in place be respected by Microsoft and Xbox? Games call of duty will they become Xbox exclusives later? Questions that Microsoft must address quickly, both to respond to the concerns of the players and to provide a semblance of transparency on the initiative behind this takeover.
A takeover that will have had the effect of a bomb for Sony. The Japanese giant saw its shares drop drastically, registering a fall of 12.8% on Wednesday on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. A capitalization loss of 20 billion all the same, its steepest fall in 6 years. In the columns of wall street journal, a Sony spokesperson reminded the general public of the contractual commitments between Activision and PlayStation, saying to expect “that Microsoft honor contractual agreements and continue to ensure that Activision games are cross-platform“.
when phil spencer reassures the crowds
Once the contracts are over, Microsoft has free rein. The Redmond firm can dispose of its licenses as it wishes, removing PlayStation from the spectrum of platforms for the next call of duty if wanted. Faced with questions from players, Phil Spencer, the man at the head of Xbox, wanted to reassure owners of a PlayStation console through his Twitter account.
Had good calls this week with leaders at Sony. I confirmed our intent to honor all existing agreements upon acquisition of Activision Blizzard and our desire to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation. Sony is an important part of our industry, and we value our relationship.
I had some good talks this week with Sony executives. I have confirmed our intention to honor all existing agreements upon the acquisition of Activision Blizzard and our desire to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation. Sony is an important part of our industry and we value our relationship.
Of course, this speech is as vague as possible. Thus, it is possible that games from the main series of the franchise, like call of duty vanguard and Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, eventually become Xbox exclusives when Call of Duty: Warzone, the popular Battle Royale of the license, remains cross-platform. At present, it is difficult to say whether call of duty will continue to release on PlayStation consoles for years to come. Either way, Microsoft still has to abide by current contractual agreements. The next few years should therefore be rather similar to the most recent.