Microsoft pledges Call of Duty will stay on PlayStation—and may come to Switch
In the wake of the news that Xbox is acquiring Activision Blizzard, the biggest open question has been whether Call of Duty will become a first-party exclusive. Now, Microsoft has given its clearest answer yet to that question—and PlayStation fans can breathe a sigh of relief. And Nintendo Switch owners may have a reason to celebrate.
In a new blog post, Microsoft has outlined a shift in its policies toward its own app stores, a clear response to both calls for greater regulation of big tech companies and the recent lawsuit between Epic and Apple. But alongside some surprising announcements—biggest of all the company will eventually allow developers to offer in-game purchases without using the Xbox Store for payment—the company also clarified its plans for Activision’s hit shooter.
Here’s the relevant portion in full:
First, some commentators have asked whether we will continue to make popular content like Activision’s Call of Duty available on competing platforms like Sony’s PlayStation. The obvious concern is that Microsoft could make this title available exclusively on the Xbox console, undermining opportunities for Sony PlayStation users.
To be clear, Microsoft will continue to make Call of Duty and other popular Activision Blizzard titles available on PlayStation through the term of any existing agreement with Activision. And we have committed to Sony that we will also make them available on PlayStation beyond the existing agreement and into the future so that Sony fans can continue to enjoy the games they love. We are also interested in taking similar steps to support Nintendo’s successful platform. We believe this is the right thing for the industry, for gamers and for our business.
You can’t get much clearer than that.
We already knew that the existing agreement between Activision and Sony, reported to run for the next few years, meant it was likely the next three Call of Duty titles would remain multiplatform. But now Microsoft states unequivocally that it’ll continue to support PlayStation platforms beyond that, and may finally bring the series to Nintendo Switch.
Also worth noting is that Sony made a similar announcement when it announced a deal to acquire Bungie, promising that it would keep Destiny as a multiplatform franchise. And PlayStation also brought its first party MLB The Show series to Xbox last year for the first time, with a Switch version on the way this year.
It’s clearly a new era for first-party games.
Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard, should it clear the necessary regulatory hurdles, is expected to be finalized sometime next year.