Microsoft has confirmed that “Call of Duty and other popular Activision Blizzard titles” will not just be released on PlayStation to honor existing contracts, but “beyond the existing agreement and into the future.”
In a piece published to explain how the company will adapt to gain regulatory approval for its Activision Blizzard takeover, president Brad Smith addressed concerns that popular games would no longer be available on competing consoles:
“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.”
Activision Blizzard Deal Compared to Other Major Acquisitions
Previous reports have indicated that the next three Call of Duty games would come to PlayStation, but not indicated what’s beyond that.
Smith added that Microsoft would be looking to assure the same for Activision Blizzard games on Nintendo consoles: “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.”
There are caveats here, of course. Smith does not commit to all traditionally multiformat Activision Blizzard games coming to PlayStation and Nintendo, nor does he commit to this agreement existing in perpetuity. This is to say nothing of brand new games developed within Activision Blizzard after a takeover takes place.
Smith’s post also announces changes and commitments for the Microsoft Store, in line with showing regulators that the company is encouraging rather than stifling competition in the gaming and tech space. Smith points to access, fairness, and openness in Microsoft’s app store plans (including allowing developers to use their own payment systems rather than Microsoft’s own).
“Too much friction exists today between creators and gamers; app store policies and practices on mobile devices restrict what and how creators can offer games and what and how gamers can play them,” Smith wrote. “Our large investment to acquire Activision Blizzard further strengthens our resolve to remove this friction on behalf of creators and gamers alike. We want to enable world-class content to reach every gamer more easily across every platform.”
While FTC and Justice Department investigations will take place for some time before the Activision Blizzard takeover is complete, legal experts and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella seemingly don’t see the deal being blocked.