Activision Reveals Whether CoD And Other Franchises Will Stay On PlayStation After Merger
Now that Microsoft is buying Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion, it is fair to wonder what that means for the future of iconic franchises on Sony's PlayStation hardware. Games and franchies like Call of Duty: Warzone, Spyro, and Crash Bandicoot are all at risk of becoming Xbox exclusives, if Microsoft wanted to go in that direction. Good news, though—it doesn't sound like that will be the case. Not immediately, anyway.
Activision Blizzard seemingly put the matter to rest in a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The filing amounts to a long question and answer session, and one of the questions raised is how this pending transaction will impact existing partner relationships, such as those that exist with Sony, Google, and Apple.
"We will honor all existing commitments post close," Activision Blizzard states in the filing. "As with Microsoft's acquisition of Minecraft, we have no intent to remove any content from platforms where it exists today."
In other words, Call of Duty: Warzone, Spyro Trilogy Reunited, and other Activision Blizzard games that are currently available to play on PlayStation hardware will stay that way once the merger is complete. This is line with the expectations of Sony, which essentially relayed the same message to The Wall Street Journal.
"We expect Microsoft will abide by contractual agreements and continue to ensure Activision games are multi-platform," a Sony spokesperson said.
That should be comforting to PlayStation fans, but there's a caveat. Nowhere in any of those comments will you find clarity on future releases. So while the short term situation looks bright on PlayStation as it applies to Activision Blizzard games, longer term is foggy.
Case in point, Microsoft also acquired Bethesda, and is releasing Starfield exclusively to Xbox and PC later this year. Xbox boss Phil Spencer talked about this last year, at the time saying Microsoft would meet contractual obligations while also embracing exclusivity.
"If you’re an Xbox customer, the thing I want you to know is that this is about delivering great exclusive games for you that ship on platforms where Game Pass exists. That’s our goal, that’s why we’re doing this, that’s the root of this partnership that we’re building," Spencer said after Microsoft purchased Bethesda.
That's probably going to be the case with Activision Blizzard, at least from what Bloomberg is hearing from an unnamed source. A person who is supposedly familiar with Microsoft's plans said some Activision will continue making some games for PlayStation while others will be exclusive to Xbox and PC. That said, Spencer's comments to the site were a little more encouraging.
"I’ll just say to players out there who are playing Activision Blizzard games on Sony’s platform: It’s not our intent to pull communities away from that platform and we remained committed to that," Spencer.
We'll see how it goes.