Call of Duty franchise to continue on Sony consoles

Phil Spencer, the head of Microsoft Gaming and head of product for the Xbox division, has pledged in a letter to the CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment that the Call of Duty franchise will not suddenly disappear from PlayStation platforms. 

Call of Duty franchise to continue on Sony consoles

As a reminder, Microsoft wants to acquire Activision Blizzard for 68.7 billion dollars, but this acquisition is still awaiting approval by the regulators.

A strategic franchise for console manufacturers

The CEO of Microsoft Gaming said, "In January, we provided a signed agreement to Sony to guarantee the presence of Call of Duty on PlayStation platforms, with parity of features and content, for at least several additional years beyond Sony's current contract, an offer that goes well beyond typical gaming industry agreements.

It is still unclear exactly how many years Call of Duty will continue to be released on PlayStation.

Microsoft had committed to publishing Call of Duty on PlayStation "for at least the next two years", suggesting that the agreement with Sony for the franchise could expire in 2024. Microsoft then publicly committed in February to keeping Call of Duty "available on PlayStation beyond the existing agreement and into the future".

Fans of the Call of Duty franchise are wondering if Microsoft might make the game an Xbox exclusive if the deal with Activision Blizzard goes through. Microsoft's latest statement doesn't address what happens after those "several more years", but it's clear that the Redmond giant is willing to guarantee a separate status to keep Call of Duty on Sony's consoles.

Fears about a potential Call of Duty exclusive on Xbox consoles were also stoked after Microsoft's acquisition of Bethesda Softworks last year. The Redmond giant promised to retain existing contractual agreements with Sony for Deathloop on PS5, but made Redfall and Starfield Xbox and PC exclusives.

The rivalry between Xbox and PlayStation over Call of Duty has been around for as long as the franchise has existed. Sony had a deal for additional downloadable content for PlayStation players in 2015, when Xbox was the traditional home of Call of Duty. This battle will surely continue as Microsoft and Sony's lawyers continue to argue over Call of Duty.

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