Last week, in a press release meant to allay fears from competition regulators, Phil Spencer reaffirmed that Microsoft has no intention of depriving the competing ecosystem of the Call of Duty franchise, a major source of revenue if there ever was one, even comparing its situation to that of Minecraft. , whose cross-platform status has never been questioned since Microsoft acquired Mojang in September 2014.
However, Phil Spencer’s words relayed by The Verge now indicate that the promise to continue developing Call of Duty for the PlayStation does indeed have an expiration date, which Microsoft will have the right to decide when it sees fit.
“In January, we provided Sony with a signed feature and content parity protection agreement for Call of Duty on PlayStation for at least a few additional years on top of Sony’s current contract, an offer that fits well with agreements typical of games. industry,” explains Phil Spencer, without mentioning the situation with other Activision Blizzard games. The only guarantee from this side is that Overwatch 2 and Diablo 4 will be available on all platforms.
Microsoft’s uncertainty about the future of Activision Blizzard games in competing ecosystems indicates that it acquired Bethesda Studios in 2020. “There was no intention of taking games away from other platforms,” there can be no more talk of releasing Starfield and Redfall on PlayStation.
An ambiguity that should not be the case with Bungie games. Acquired this year by Sony Interactive Entertainment, Pete Parsons’ studio continues to develop as an independent subsidiary and all of its projects must remain cross-platform, as explicitly mentioned in the very first lines of a press release published on January 31 by Sony Interactive. Entertainment .
In the spring of 2021, over 400 million games in the Call of Duty franchise have been sold. Now accompanied by the free-to-play Call of Duty: Warzone, which will itself be available on mobile devices, the franchise has monopolized over 3,000 developers. Faced with regulators, Sony officials try to explain that a franchise of this magnitude would tip the scales too far in one direction if it became exclusive, and that it would be impossible to create a competitor. For their part, Microsoft’s lawyers say it’s in their best interest to keep Call of Duty on the PlayStation for economic reasons.
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