‘Call Of Duty’ would be difficult to make Xbox exclusive

"It would be hard to get it past regulators if they want to lock the competition out"

With a large portion of gamers playing Call Of Duty, trying to make it Microsoft exclusive “would be hard to get past regulators” say industry analysts.

According to industry analysts interviewed by GIBiz, (and as spotted by VGC) it would be difficult to make Call Of Duty a Microsoft exclusive due to fears of monopolisation. Last year 55 per cent of console gamers and 33 per cent of PC gamers played a Call Of Duty game. This is around 10 per cent more than the next biggest franchise, Grand Theft Auto.

David Cole of DFC Intelligence believes that this large market share means it would be difficult to get the notion past regulators, but that other ideas such as including the franchise in Xbox Game Pass could sway consumers to the hardware.

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“It should also be noted that on the console side Call Of Duty is really the only big franchise from Activision. The big issue is if COD becomes a Microsoft exclusive. Right now, I don’t think [it will]. For one thing, it would be hard to get it past regulators if they want to lock the competition out. Making Call of Duty exclusive to Xbox — or even just included as part of Game Pass — could be a major benefit for Xbox when these consumers decide between Xbox Series or PS5.”

Xbox boss Phil Spencer
Phil Spencer. Credit: Xbox

Karol Severin of Midia Research suggests that instead of attempting console exclusivity Microsoft could use the acquisition to influence the PC marketplace. By removing Call Of Duty from Steam it could take control of online storefronts.

“Microsoft could eventually take Call Of Duty off Steam, in order to usher PC gamers towards [PC] Game Pass as their key distribution channel.”

Phil Spencer, CEO of Microsoft Gaming, said he is committed to keeping games on PlayStation following the £50million acquisition. However, Xbox has made similar comments before moving IPs exclusively to its platforms such as with Zenimax.

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In other news, tweets have emerged which suggest that Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick is to blame for the ongoing delays of Overwatch 2, after changing the team and losing months of development.

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