According to Microsoft, Sony has a contract with Activision Blizzard that ensures that Call of Duty can’t come to Game Pass “in the coming years”. The contract between Sony and Activision Blizzard will run until 2024, according to Forbes sources.
The clause Sony has enforced on Activision Blizzard is according to Forbes can be read in documents that Microsoft has submitted to the British market authority CMA following the planned acquisition of Activision Blizzard by Microsoft. The CMA is concerned about the acquisition and fears it will hurt competition in the gaming market. That is why it has also made plans to further investigate the acquisition. Brazil’s watchdog CADE has approved the acquisition, while the European Commission and the FTC are still investigating the matter.
According to Microsoft, the concerns of the British market watchdog are misplaced. The company states that the PlayStation as a gaming platform is twice as large as the Xbox and therefore will not be harmed by the acquisition. According to Microsoft, the suggestion that Sony will be overthrown by losing access to one game title is “unbelievable”. Microsoft is referring to the Call of Duty franchise.
Earlier this year, Xbox CEO Phil Spencer stated that he wants to keep Call of Duty on the PlayStation and that he wants to honor all agreements Sony has with Activision Blizzard. In early September, it emerged that during negotiations with Sony, Microsoft offered to keep Call of Duty on the PlayStation until 2027. PlayStation director Jim Ryan says the offer would “fall short” on several points.
Microsoft announced its intention to acquire Activision Blizzard in early 2022 for $68.7 billion. If the deal goes through, it will be the largest gaming acquisition and Microsoft’s most expensive acquisition ever. Both companies are awaiting approval from global authorities and believe the deal will close in 2023.
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