The tech giant is looking to expand its portfolio and business across console, PC, mobile devices and cloud service; however, there is a cloud of doubt hanging over the future of the Call of Duty series receiving exclusive game content to PlayStation.
Sony comments on Xbox Blizzard acquisition
In a statement to the Wall Street Journal on 20th January 2022, a Sony representative said, "We expect that Microsoft will abide by contractual agreements and continue to ensure Activision games are multiplatform."
Since the video game series accounts for 55% of the publisher's profit, this justifies Sony's concerns about whether the PlayStation platform will continue to receive exclusive content to PlayStation consoles.
Some examples include the year-long Special Ops Survival Mode from Modern Warfare back in 2019 and the limited time Zombies mode, Onslaught, from Black Ops Cold War in 2020.
Moreover, the Call of Duty series has seen some fantastic strides over the last few months as Call of Duty: Vanguard and Call of Duty: Black Ops: Cold War were named 2021's best-selling video games in the U.S., according to the market research company NPD.
Outside of the Call of Duty series, the publisher is responsible for other notable gaming releases, including Overwatch, Diablo, World of Warcraft and Candy Crush.
The best-selling video games in 2021 in the U.S. were:— The NPD Group (@npdgroup) January 18, 2022
Call of Duty: Vanguard
Call of Duty: Black Ops: Cold War
Madden NFL 22
Pokemon: Brilliant Diamond/Shining Pearl
View the full list here 👉 https://t.co/Vz7IyaKzX6pic.twitter.com/zEPCWwz5JV
Microsoft has outlined plans to keep some Activision games exclusive to PlayStation once the acquisition is completed. Similarly, Xbox will also receive some exclusive content.
"I'll just say to players out there who are playing Activision Blizzard games on Sony's platform: It's not our intent to pull communities away from that platform, and we remained committed to that," said Microsoft Gaming CEO, Phil Spencer.
This isn't the first time Microsoft has pledged to honour "contractual agreements" between publishers and Sony.
Last year, when Microsoft acquired ZeniMax, Bethesda's parent company, they agreed to honour pre-existing arrangements for games, including Deathloop and Ghostwire Tokyo.
While it isn't surprising that Sony once again pleads to Microsoft pre-existing arrangements relating to PlayStation-exclusive games and content, Sony won't have much say once the acquisition closes in the 2023 fiscal year.
Nevertheless, once those agreements expire, Microsoft will have the power to explore console-exclusive games within the existing series it owns.
Featured image courtesy of PlayStation, Xbox and Activision Blizzard.