While there is still much speculation surrounding Microsoft’s £50million acquisition of major publisher Activision Blizzard, further details are slowly being released. Following the news that Sony expects Microsoft to honour Activision Blizzard’s current contracts and keep games on PlayStation, Phil Spencer has now confirmed that this is also Microsoft’s intent.
Had good calls this week with leaders at Sony. I confirmed our intent to honor all existing agreements upon acquisition of Activision Blizzard and our desire to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation. Sony is an important part of our industry, and we value our relationship.
— Phil Spencer (@XboxP3) January 20, 2022
“Had good calls this week with leaders at Sony. I confirmed our intent to honour all existing agreements upon acquisition of Activision Blizzard and our desire to keep Call Of Duty on PlayStation. Sony is an important part of our industry, and we value our relationship.” Spencer says.
Analysts speculating on the outcome of the acquisition believe that as Call Of Duty is the widest played franchise worldwide, making the titles Microsoft exclusive would be difficult to get past regulators who would fear monopolisation. They did suggest that the addition of the series to Microsoft’s Game Pass services would be a big boon for the company.
Microsoft has a history of honouring contracts following its major acquisitions. After acquiring Zenimax, Microsoft honoured all current contracts, maintaining games on other platforms and releasing games in progress such as Deathloop on competing platforms. However, moving forward many Zenimax games will be released on Xbox as console exclusives.
Analysts also suggested that following the deals closure Microsoft would also have to deal with the numerous sexual harassment allegations and lawsuits held against Activision Blizzard. This means it will be looking at further ways to recoup these costs.