Microsoft Talks To The New York Times About The Future Of The Call Of Duty Series
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Microsoft Offered Sony a 10-Year Deal to Keep Call of Duty on PlayStation

With each passing day, Microsoft’s proposed $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard is facing more and more scrutiny from regulators worldwide. But the current contention surrounding the deal comes down to the future of the Call of Duty series (one of Activision Blizzard’s most significant franchises) on PlayStation.

Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard is currently being reviewed by 16 different government bodies, with Saudi Arabia and Brazil already approving the deal. However, the US, UK and EU are continuing to investigate.

The scrutiny on this point has gotten so intense that Microsoft has released a statement to the New York Times addressing it in an effort to help assuage concerns. Microsoft told the New York Times that earlier in the month, it had committed to a 10-year deal with Sony to keep the Call of Duty series on PlayStation consoles for at least the next decade. This new 10-year offer speaks to Microsoft’s determination to make the Activision Blizzard acquisition happen.

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Over the last few years, PlayStation users have regularly received early access to Call of Duty beta tests and other content, which seemed unlikely to continue with Microsoft at the helm. But Sony has been less concerned about receiving special access and more with the glaring fact that they could be cut off altogether.

Shortly after the acquisition was announced, Microsoft stated that it intended to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation, but that did little to end people’s concerns. Then in September, concerns reached an all-time high when Phil Spencer from Xbox stated that Microsoft had guaranteed Call of Duty releases on PlayStation consoles “for at least several more years beyond the current Sony contract.” The statement was intended to keep people happy until PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan released his statement saying that the offer made was only for three years beyond the end of the current deal, something Jim described as inadequate on many levels.

Console exclusivity is one of many issues regulatory bodies have with this acquisition. Another concern is that having Activision Blizzard games available on Game Pass will give the service an unparalleled advantage over other game streaming services. Microsoft has said that it has a deal with Sony to keep Call of Duty off of Game Pass although that deal is sure to have an expiration, after which it’s a free game.

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