Microsoft announced today it has struck a deal with Sony to keep the popular Call of Duty franchise on PlayStation platforms for at least the next 10 years. However, the future of other Activision Blizzard games on Sony’s console remains uncertain.
In a previous proposal offered by Microsoft in January 2022, the tech giant had considered retaining all existing Activision console games on Sony through December 31, 2027. However, the terms of this revised contract, confirmed by Kari Perez, Xbox’s head of global communications, are exclusively tied to Call of Duty.
This arrangement between Microsoft and Sony shares similarities with a previous agreement Microsoft extended to Nintendo. However, cloud gaming enterprises, including Nvidia and Boosteroid, have benefited from more inclusive deals, securing rights to a broader range of Activision games.
While Microsoft still has the option to release additional Activision titles on PlayStation, it is not contractually bound to do so. The decision regarding the availability of each game could be assessed individually, possibly leading to the exclusivity of certain titles to the Xbox platform.
Historically, franchises like Crash Bandicoot and Spyro the Dragon have been linked with PlayStation. These games began their journey on Sony’s platform before being absorbed by Activision, and subsequently, by Xbox. With this new deal, their future on PlayStation hangs in the balance.
Phil Spencer, the head of Xbox, has previously expressed an interest in breathing new life into some of Activision Blizzard’s dormant franchises. Among those mentioned were Hexen, Guitar Hero, and King’s Quest. If these franchises are indeed resurrected, PlayStation users might be left in the cold, unable to experience these games on their preferred platform.
As the gaming landscape continues to evolve, fans and industry insiders alike will be keeping a close eye on Microsoft’s next move. With the fate of several popular franchises up in the air, the stakes have never been higher.