Microsoft and Sony have recently signed a binding agreement to keep the Call of Duty franchise on PlayStation. Recently announced by Phil Spencer on Twitter, this comes days after Microsoft had won a legal battle against the US FTC regarding the tech giant’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard. ”We look forward to a future where players globally have more choice to play their favorite games,” says Spencer in the tweet announcing the agreement.
Microsoft and Sony Finally Reach A Deal on Call of Duty
Regarding the agreement with Sony, Phil Spencer tweeted out:
The Vice Chairman of Microsoft, Brad Smith, said that the company will ”remain focused on ensuring that Call of Duty remains available on more platforms and for more consumers than ever before.” after the announcement:
Microsoft and Sony: A Bitter Battle
After Microsoft announced its acquisition of the Call of Duty publisher back in January 2022, a bitter battle emerged between the company and Sony, who previously had certain exclusivity rights for the franchise on their PlayStation consoles.
After the acquisition, Sony expressed concerns over the presence of Activision’s portfolio of games on PlayStation, particularly Call of Duty, which was one of its biggest-selling franchises. While Phil Spencer had assured that the franchise would be kept on PlayStation, Sony’s worries still hadn’t gone away as they didn’t want the merger to happen at all, deeming it ”anti-competitive”.
The US FTC had tried to block the acquisition following anti-trust concerns, but Microsoft came out victorious in the legal battle. The EU regulators had previously cleared the acquisition in May. Microsoft still has a legal meeting with the UK’s CMA regarding the latter’s concern over the acquisition soon. Microsoft is hoping to complete the acquisition of Activision Blizzard by July 18.
Little is known about the binding agreement between the two companies, but it certainly puts to rest one of the biggest challenges of Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard. If Microsoft comes out victorious in its meeting with the CMA, then there would basically be no major barriers to its acquisition of the Call of Duty publisher.
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