After what has felt like forever, Sony has finally responded to the news that Microsoft is purchasing Activision. The company said it expects Microsoft to follow the existing contractual agreements that are already in place. In a statement to the Wall Street Journal, the company said; “We expect that Microsoft will abide by contractual agreements and continue to ensure Activision games are multiplatform.”
The company didn’t say what kind of contractual agreements it has with Activision. In the past, Sony has partnered with Activision to make PlayStation “the home of Call of Duty”. That deal was made in 2015 and made all Call of Duty map packs exclusive to PlayStation consoles for a limited time. The deal appears to have covered just three Call of Duty games. Call of Duty: Black Ops 3, Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, and Call of Duty: WWII.
It isn’t clear whether the deal changed or ended as Activision stopped releasing map packs for Call of Duty games. PlayStation versions of recent Call of Duty games have received a variety of exclusives. 2020’s Black Ops Cold War received Onslaught, a mode in Zombies, as a timed exclusive. However, last year’s Vanguard only gave PlayStation gamers cosmetics, battle pass tier skips, and similar small exclusives. If there is any current contractual agreement in place, it isn’t clear exactly what the requirements include.
It’s unlikely that Microsoft would be looking to break any contractual agreements. Deathloop, a game developed by Microsoft’s studio Bethesda, was launched last year as a PlayStation exclusive. That was due to a pre-existing contractual agreement to make the game a timed exclusive on PlayStation consoles. Bethesda’s next game, Starfield, will be an Xbox console exclusive. Microsoft seems content to allow any agreements to run their course before making franchises exclusive to its consoles. How long PlayStation is able to hold onto Call of Duty remains to be seen.