Microsoft: Call of Duty will come to PlayStation after Activision Blizzard deal closes

Captain Price Modern Warfare
Captain Price Modern Warfare (Image credit: Activision Blizzard)

What you need to know

  • Microsoft has entered an agreement to acquire Activision Blizzard for almost $69 billion.
  • The company is starting to seek regulator approval for the deal to go through.
  • Microsoft is committing to bringing Call of Duty to PlayStation even once the deal goes through.

Microsoft is committing to bringing Call of Duty to PlayStation even after the deal to acquire Activision Blizzard closes. This part of the steps laid out in a blog post (opens in new tab) Microsoft published on Wednesday, explaining how certain things will be handled as the company seeks regulator approval to acquire Activision Blizzard for almost $69 billion.

"To be clear, Microsoft will continue to make Call of Duty and other popular Activision Blizzard titles available on PlayStation through the term of any existing agreement with Activision," Microsoft president Brad Smith explains. "And we have committed to Sony that we will also make them available on PlayStation beyond the existing agreement and into the future so that Sony fans can continue to enjoy the games they love. We are also interested in taking similar steps to support Nintendo's successful platform. We believe this is the right thing for the industry, for gamers and for our business."

This is different from how Microsoft approached acquiring ZeniMax Media, parent company of Bethesda Softworks. While Microsoft is seeing through any contractual obligations for timed exclusives like Deathloop, future Bethesda titles like Starfield are exclusive to Xbox and PC, or more specifically, platforms where Game Pass exists.

The deal for Microsoft to acquire Activision Blizzard is currently slated to close no later than June 2023. When the deal closes, Microsoft will add Activision Blizzard to Xbox Game Studios and Bethesda Softworks, increasing the Xbox first-party branch to three different publishers.

Samuel Tolbert

Samuel Tolbert is a freelance writer covering gaming news, previews, reviews, interviews and different aspects of the gaming industry, specifically focusing on Xbox and PC gaming on Windows Central. You can find him on Twitter @SamuelTolbert.

  • Thats good news for ps fans
  • But not so much for Sony.
    Properly managed COD on PS won't leave much room for them to build a direct competitor.
    Besides, it'll cost $70 on PS and be (effectively) "free-to-play" on gamepass. MS with Activision will have enough exclusives they'll be able to do some older franchises as multiplat.
    Let's not forget MS Gaming will have at least *three* game publishing arms: Global Publishing, Bethesda, and Activision. Doing multiplat has always been on t he table and will remain so as long as they need regulatory approval. Afterwards all bets are off. 😏 Once Gamepass gets big enough they'll be free to "support" (read: milk) other gaming platforms. Basically a classic: "what's mine is mine, what's yours is negotiable play". The key word there is "negotiable".
    Just because PS gets COD doesn't mean Sony wouldn't have to give to get.
  • Why a different approach now? Wouldn't it make sense to also bring at least Elder Scrolls 6 to Playstation? It's a big game (in terms of names and money) and previous entries were also released on this platform.
  • One size doesn't fit all.
    Why give Sony the best wRPGs when they block the more popular jRPGs from XBOX? Besides, just because they promise COD doesn't mean everything needs to follow.
    With Bethesda they said by case by case; no reason to expect anything different with Activision.
  • It's even bigger news that Microsoft is extending its open App Store policies to Xbox including eventually allowing other stores and payment systems on their console. That could open a window for Playstation to release their games on Xbox and keep all the profits to themselves. Then they would make more money selling games on Xbox than they do when taking a loss on PS5s. What a hilarious outcome.
  • Good point about *potentialy* opening the store to other channels. But don't forget MS isn't run by idiots: a Sony branded wing on XBOX won't be for free. MS will get tbeir pound of flesh. ( "What's mine is mine, what's yours is negotiable.) More likely MS is thinking about putting in an Indie store (ala 360-era Arcade wing) or an Android subsystem (along the lines of developer mode) and an Amazon games store to give mobile gamers a way to play on the big screen. Casual gamers have wallets, too. There is too much console-limited thinking out there: MS is thinking way beyond the ballyhoed "console war". They're going for the full gaming market: console, PC, mobile, Cloud, TV... And in that game Sony Games are peanuts. If Sony wants XBOX money, they'll have to pay the piper...
  • I can see this working in a few different ways. One, Playstation owners pay $70.00 while Xbox users pay $10-15.00 monthly to get in GamePass, highlighting the fact that you can have access to hundreds of games as opposed to just having one. Two, Xbox can use COD in particular to renegotiate that 70/30 split to maybe 80/20 or 85-15, anything where they're not giving Sony as much of the profits. Three, COD releases on both consoles at the same time but DLC, skins, perks, etc. drop on Xbox 1-3 months earlier like back in the 360 days.
  • Not to mention, xgp perks! MS can throw COD exclusive goodies for subscribers to claim.
    MS can also say no to Sony's money, stop providing COD exclusive contents for PS.