Spencer made the announcement after speaking to Sony‘s own leaders this week.
The gaming industry is reeling from the potential ramifications of Microsoft’s massive deal to acquire Activision, and some of the biggest questions have been about the future of the Call of Duty franchise, which is a big hit on both PlayStation and Xbox consoles. While we still don’t know for sure where you’ll be able to play the newest Call of Duty games if the acquisition goes through, Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer suggests the series does have a future on Sony platforms.
“Had good calls this week with leaders at Sony,” Spencer said Thursday evening. “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.”
There were questions regarding Call of Duty’s position as an Xbox exclusive in the future, but Spencer’s statement appears to put those to bed–at least for now. It’s also possible that some, but not all, Call of Duty games will come to PlayStation, or that Microsoft provides it as a Game Pass-exclusive and thus would require the service to be on PS4 and PS5.
There is no stopping Microsoft from making Call of Duty a console-exclusive franchise several years from now, but it would also go against the philosophy that Spencer’s teams have adopted over the last several years. Despite purchasing Mojang Studios, Minecraft still gets support and even spin-off games on PlayStation and Nintendo systems.
Other Activision Blizzard brands remain question marks regarding exclusivity. These include Diablo, Warcraft, Overwatch, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater, Spyro, Crash Bandicoot, and other dormant franchises like Prototype and Singularity. However, there’s a pretty good chance most of these will find their way to Game Pass, if the Bethesda Softworks library is anything to go by.
Microsoft’s Activision Blizzard acquisition is expected to close in FY 2023, which begins later this year. It must be approved by regulatory agencies prior to being official.