Microsoft Corp. on Sunday announced a “binding agreement” to keep Activision Blizzard Inc.’s massively popular “Call of Duty” videogame available to Sony Corp.’s PlayStation platform once Microsoft’s acquisition of Activison is complete.
“We are pleased to announce that Microsoft and @PlayStation have signed a binding agreement to keep ‘Call of Duty’ on PlayStation following the acquisition of Activision Blizzard,” Phil Spencer, Microsoft’s chief executive of gaming, tweeted Sunday. “We look forward to a future where players globally have more choice to play their favorite games.”
Further details were not immediately forthcoming, but other media reports said the deal is for 10 years and applies to “Call of Duty” only, similar to a deal Microsoft struck with Nintendo
earlier this year. Microsoft
did not immediately respond to MarketWatch’s request for more information Sunday.
Ever since Microsoft, which owns the Xbox gaming platform, and videogame maker Activision
announced plans to merge in early 2022, Sony
— and regulators — voiced concern that Microsoft could keep Activision’s most popular games exclusive to Xbox.
“From Day One of this acquisition, we’ve been committed to addressing the concerns of regulators, platform and game developers, and consumers,” Microsoft President Brad Smith tweeted Sunday. “Even after we cross the finish line for this deal’s approval, we will remain focused on ensuring that ‘Call of Duty’ remains available on more platforms and for more consumers than ever before.”
The deal could be enough to appease U.K. regulators, who have yet to sign off on the deal, which is scheduled to close by Tuesday. EU regulators approved the acquisition in May, and a U.S. federal judge gave the deal the green light last week. On Friday, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission’s request for the courts to pause the deal while its appeal was heard was denied.