What you need to know
- Sony has stated it expects upcoming Activision-published titles to hit other platforms, according to a statement provided to The Wall Street Journal.
- Microsoft outlined plans to acquire video game publisher Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion on Tuesday, bringing franchises like Call of Duty, Diablo, and World of Warcraft, under Xbox leadership.
- "We expect that Microsoft will abide by contractual agreements and continue to ensure Activision games are multiplatform," a Sony representative stated in its first public response to the deal.
Sony expects Activision to deliver future multiplatform titles following an acquisition from Microsoft, citing existing "contractual agreements" with the publisher. The statement follows the announcement of a planned $68.7 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard, bringing one of the world's biggest names in entertainment under the Xbox platform holder.
The planned purchase brings Activision, Blizzard, and King under Redmond's growing gaming division, coupled with franchises like Call of Duty, Diablo, and Overwatch. Delivering the industry's largest acquisition in history, the deal has raised questions around its extensive list of properties previously available on PlayStation platforms. That includes Call of Duty, its best-selling shooter, shifting millions of units with its annualized entries.
Sony has now issued its first statement following the Activision Blizzard deal, stating it expects more multiplatform titles to come, once under Microsoft ownership. "We expect that Microsoft will abide by contractual agreements and continue to ensure Activision games are multiplatform," a Sony representative told The Wall Street Journal.
Activision has previously stated that it plans to honor existing agreements following the acquisition, currently expected to close midway through 2023. That likely includes exclusivity agreements for franchises like Call of Duty, which previously saw PlayStation owners score exclusive modes and other perks over alternate platforms. Activision and Sony first announced their multi-year agreement in 2015, mirroring a past deal that saw five years of timed exclusivity on Xbox 360 and Xbox One consoles.
While the Activision Blizzard deal suggests many previously multiplatform franchises will pivot to Xbox console and PC exclusivity, Microsoft appears to be gearing up to tackle each on a case-by-case basis. Much like the Bethesda deal, which saw titles like Starfield and The Elder Scrolls VI pivot to Xbox exclusivity, previously-announced PlayStation console exclusive, Deathloop, launched under Bethesda in 2021. With Call of Duty continuing to draw huge revenues each year, we don't expect the series to drop PlayStation anytime soon.