The Microsoft / Activision Blizzard acquisition saga continues with another wild curve ball. Today, Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer tweeted out to express that he had talked with Sony leaders, that Xbox intends to honor all existing agreements between Sony and Activision Blizzard, and that there is a “desire to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation.” Spencer described Sony as an “important part” of the video game industry and said that Microsoft “values” its relationship with the company.
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.
— Phil Spencer (@XboxP3) January 20, 2022
Of course, that careful Phil Spencer phrasing of “our desire to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation” is curious. It is not a guarantee that new Call of Duty games will continue to arrive on Sony consoles. Rather, it is merely a hopeful indication. Nonetheless, COD players on PlayStation are bound to be pleased by this news, particularly in light of how Xbox has used its Bethesda acquisition. In a nutshell, most future Bethesda games are expected to be Xbox and PC exclusives, and the massive upcoming RPG Starfield has been confirmed as such. The fact that Phil Spencer and Microsoft are keeping the door open for more Call of Duty on PlayStation — and that it may not be limited to just free-to-play Warzone — is a big deal.
However, how Microsoft intends to profit from this massive acquisition of Activision Blizzard remains to be seen, especially if it doesn’t intend to make Call of Duty an Xbox and PC exclusive. What we do know, thanks to our in-house lawyer, is that the government isn’t likely to interfere with the merger.