Despite previously rejecting the offer, Sony has now agreed to sign a Call of Duty agreement with Xbox. This comes after Microsoft’s win against the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
Xbox head Phil Spencer announced on Twitter that Microsoft and Sony have signed a binding agreement for Call of Duty. “We look forward to a future where players globally have more choice to play their favorite games,” the statement reads.
Xbox head of global communications Kari Perez told The Verge that the deal is for 10 years and is only for Call of Duty. This means Microsoft could potentially strip PlayStation of other Activision franchises like Diablo in the future.
We are pleased to announce that Microsoft and @PlayStation have signed a binding agreement to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation following the acquisition of Activision Blizzard. We look forward to a future where players globally have more choice to play their favorite games.
— Phil Spencer (@XboxP3) July 16, 2023
Microsoft president Brad Smith noted that the company has always remained committed to addressing the concerns of regulators, developers, and platform holders. “Even after we cross the finish line for this deal’s approval, we will remain focused on ensuring that Call of Duty remains available on more platforms and for more consumers than ever before,” he said.
From Day One of this acquisition, we’ve been committed to addressing the concerns of regulators, platform and game developers, and consumers. Even after we cross the finish line for this deal’s approval, we will remain focused on ensuring that Call of Duty remains available on… https://t.co/hMWjC58wRi
— Brad Smith (@BradSmi) July 16, 2023
Sony initially rejected the 10-year agreement with Microsoft, which was followed by SIE boss Jim Ryan’s infamous quote: “I don’t want a new Call of Duty deal. I just want to block your merger.” During his testimony at the FTC v. Microsoft hearing, he also claimed that Microsoft only wanted to keep older Activision Blizzard games on PlayStation.
Microsoft eventually won against the FTC, which allowed it to close the $68.7 billion deal in the US. The only stumbling block is the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), but the company is now negotiating with the regulator to address its cloud gaming concerns.