Microsoft has released a lengthy blog post setting out a “set of Open App Store Principles.” The company says it wants to “promote competition in app markets and beyond.” The post is aimed at regulators who are now looking into Microsoft’s purchase of Activision Blizzard. Although Microsoft has repeatedly claimed that the purchase doesn’t violate antitrust laws, the FTC has decided to review the deal anyway. In the post, Microsoft has set out how it intends to move forward once the acquisition is complete.
In order to set minds at ease, Microsoft has said it is committed to keeping Activision games on PlayStation and Nintendo consoles. Check out the full paragraph relating to Activision games on other consoles below.
“To be clear, Microsoft will continue to make Call of Duty and other popular Activision Blizzard titles available on PlayStation through the term of any existing agreement with Activision. And we have committed to Sony that we will also make them available on PlayStation beyond the existing agreement and into the future so that Sony fans can continue to enjoy the games they love. We are also interested in taking similar steps to support Nintendo’s successful platform. We believe this is the right thing for the industry, for gamers and for our business.”Microsoft
The interesting part of Microsoft’s statement is that it will continue to make games like Call of Duty available on PlayStation after the current agreements have expired. Previously, Sony had stated that it expected Microsoft to honor the current agreements, which Microsoft said it will. It was then revealed that the agreements in place for Call of Duty only cover the next two main games in the series. That’s the games for 2022 and 2023. After that, it had been assumed that Microsoft would make the games Xbox exclusive. With today’s statement, it looks like Microsoft is drawing a line in the sand that it will continue making the games multiplatform after the 2023 Call of Duty game.
However, this may not be the end of the Call of Duty exclusivity debate. There is wiggle room in Microsoft’s statement for games like Call of Duty to be exclusive to Xbox. It was previously speculated that Call of Duty: Warzone could remain multi-platform while mainline Call of Duty games would be Xbox exclusives. Technically, that would be Microsoft honoring the above commitment. Whether or not that will be the case remains to be seen. Regardless, it looks like the Call of Duty exclusivity debate is far from over.