Microsoft seemingly has no intentions of making Call of Duty exclusive to Xbox, with Phil Spencer revealing he wants Microsoft to treat the IP in the same way it treats Minecraft, by bringing it to “many different screens.”
Spencer was speaking at the Wall Street Journal’s Tech Live, where he touched on Microsoft’s proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard. Should the deal go ahead under scrutiny from regulators, it would mean that Microsoft would own the Call of Duty license, and could therefore make the franchise exclusive to its platform.
However, Spencer has re-iterated that Microsoft has no interest in doing this, stating that not only will the franchise still come to PlayStation, he wants to see the game on “many different screens,” including the Nintendo Switch. Spencer also added that he was interested in seeing more Call of Duty games on mobile devices.
“Call of Duty specifically will be available on PlayStation,” said Spencer. “I’d love to see it on the Switch, I’d love to see the game playable on many different screens. Our intent is to treat Call of Duty like Minecraft.” For reference, Minecraft is available on just about every platform you can think of despite being a Microsoft-owned IP. Spencer seems to be suggesting that Call of Duty could follow a similar route and eventually become available on a multitude of platforms.
“This opportunity is really about mobile for us. When you think about 3billion people playing video games, there’s only about 200million households on console.”
The popular first-person shooter franchise has become the staging ground of a spat between Microsoft and Sony, after Microsoft promised to keep the franchise on PlayStation for three years beyond the current agreement between Activision and Sony – a move PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan described as “inadequate on many levels.”
That’s not the only news to come out of Spencer’s talk at Wall Street Journal’s Tech Live – as Spencer revealed that Xbox can’t avoid raising prices on its consoles and subscription services “forever.”