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Phil Spencer Reiterates That Call of Duty Will Stay on PlayStation

Posted November 15, 2022 | Activision | Activision Blizzard | Call of Duty | Games | Phil Spencer | Playstation | Windows | Xbox

Phil Spencer, CEO of Microsoft of Gaming has once again spoken up to clear out the persisting confusion about the future of Call of Duty on PlayStation. As the UK’s CMA and the European Commission launched in-depth investigations of Microsoft’s Activision Blizzard deal, Spencer said in The Verge’s Decoder podcast that Microsoft is willing to work with Sony and regulators to make a clearer commitment regarding future Call of Duty games on PlayStation.

Back in September, PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan said that Microsoft had only offered to continue shipping Call of Duty on PlayStation for three years after the current agreement between Sony and Activision ends. Microsoft has issued several reassuring statements since then, but Phil Spencer still doesn’t want to go as far as guaranteeing in a contract that Call of Duty will remain on PlayStation “forever.”

“This idea that we would write a contract that says the word forever in it I think is a little bit silly, but to make a longer term commitment that Sony would be comfortable with, regulators would be comfortable with, I have no issue with that at all,” Spencer said.

The head of Xbox has also dismissed concerns about Microsoft only guaranteeing to ship future Call of Duty games on PlayStation under some conditions, such as Sony accepting a version of Xbox Game Pass on PlayStation consoles. Here’s Spencer’s full quote on this matter:

Native Call of Duty on PlayStation, not linked to them having to carry Game Pass, not streaming. If they want a streaming version of Call of Duty we could do that as well, just like we do on our own consoles.

There’s nothing behind my back. It is the Call of Duty Modern Warfare II doing great on PlayStation, doing great on Xbox. The next game, the next, next, next, next, next [game]. Native on the platform, not having to subscribe to Game Pass. Sony does not have to take Game Pass on their platform to make that happen.

There’s nothing hidden. We want to continue to ship Call of Duty on PlayStation without any kind of weird ‘aha I figured out the gotcha’ as Phil said ‘our intent.’ I understand some people’s concerns on this, and I’m just trying to be as clear as I can be.

Because Sony is the market leader in the consoles market and Call of Duty generates a lot of revenue on PlayStation, Microsoft can’t really afford to lose this massive player base. “It makes zero business sense for Microsoft to remove Call of Duty from PlayStation given its market leading console position,” the company said in a statement back in September.

It remains to be seen if Phil Spencer’s latest comments on Microsoft’s Activision Blizzard acquisition will be enough to appease Sony, regulators, and PlayStation fans. Sony has been benefiting from a marketing deal with Activision on Call of Duty games for years, and the company can’t be thrilled about this special relationship falling apart once Microsoft owns Activision Blizzard.

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