Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard King is still being investigated by various competition authorities around the world and could be completed in the spring of 2023. Xbox boss Phil Spencer admitted to spending a lot of time with regulators this time, and gave a little explanation as to the future of the Call of Duty franchise.
Call of Duty should stay on PlayStation as long as there are consoles
Much discussion has surrounded the Call of Duty franchise and Sony has already discussed fears of seeing the license disappear from its platforms. However, Microsoft said it is offering Sony commitments that go beyond the contracts already signed between PlayStation and Activision. But it seems that this is not enough in the eyes of Sony who are afraid to see Xbox making certain advantages with this license.
Until now, Xbox has always said that its preference is to see the Call of Duty license continue to be released on PlayStation. And now, during an interview with the Youtube channel Same Brain, Phil Spencer went a little further.
We’re not going to remove Call of Duty from PlayStation, that’s not our intention. We don’t want that as long as there is a PlayStation console to release. [Call of Duty].
Our goal is to release Call of Duty on PlayStation the same way we’ve done with Minecraft since we got it, where we’ve expanded the places people can play Minecraft. We haven’t reduced that, and it’s good. It benefits the Minecraft community, in my opinion, and I want to do the same when we think about Call of Duty in the next few years.
Regarding Xbox, Phil Spencer said that the best addition they can make is to bring these games to the catalog of Xbox Game Pass, but not to remove them from other platforms, on the contrary. Just a few days ago, Phil Spencer told the Wall Street Journal that he wanted to see Call of Duty on the Nintendo Switch after the Activision acquisition.
Keep in mind, however, that despite its statements, Microsoft does not seem ready to set in stone the availability of Call of Duty on PlayStation. Sony wants Call of Duty for life, but the future of the PlayStation license will actually remain uncertain from the years 2025/2026, when the contracts with Activision expire. Until now, Microsoft has always spoken about a “desire” to continue releasing Call of Duty on PlayStation, a nuance that still persists today.
Two weeks ago, we discovered Microsoft’s arguments in response to the CMA. Microsoft specifically indicated that even without Call of Duty, “PlayStation’s player base is bigger than Xbox’s right now. »
Of course, continuing to release the PlayStation Call of Duty license would represent a significant financial windfall for Microsoft. Just today, PlayStation also confirmed that Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II will be the biggest launch of a game from the PlayStation Store license.
Activision’s acquisition could be validated in the spring of 2023
The question everyone is asking is when will the acquisition be validated. Some are already imagining that it will be done by the end of the year, but it is unlikely that things will be that easy.
We’re now in the regulatory process, which means I’m spending a lot of time in front of regulators to discuss this industry and our goals with this deal.
We expect this to be validated in the current fiscal year, which for Microsoft ends in June. We believe it is within this period. I’m pretty confident about closing the deal. As I said, I spent time with the regulators and I think they asked good, honest questions about a deal like this, which is one of the biggest that Microsoft has ever done, and certainly the biggest. big thing about me, that sometimes keeps me awake at night.
Unless there is a surprise, you will see in the spring of 2023 for the formalization (or not) of the acquisition of Activision Blizzard King by Microsoft. The British authorities are due to give their verdict in March 2023.