Phil Spencer assures us an Xbox-owned Call of Duty would stay on PlayStation for generations
Xbox boss Phil Spencer has one again stated publicly that he has no plans to pull future Call of Duty games from rival platforms, should Microsoft finalize its acquisition of Activision Blizzard.
Though this is a topic Microsoft and Spencer personally have addressed repeatedly in the past, In a recent appearance on The Verge podcast Decoder, Spencer delivered his most concrete assurances yet, essentially swatting down every possible ulterior motive internet theorists have ascribed to Microsoft: offering an inferior version of the games, holding the series hostage until PlayStation adds Xbox Game Pass subscriptions to its consoles, offering a long-term commitment to clear the current regulatory hurdles only to renege once the acquisition is finalized.
Spencer swatted down all of these possibilities in his most direct statements yet. “Native Call of Duty on PlayStation, not linked to them having to carry Game Pass, not streaming. If they want a streaming version of Call of Duty, we could do that as well, just like we do on our own consoles,” he said. “There’s nothing behind my back.… The next game, the next, next game, next, next, next. Native on the platform, not having to subscribe to Game Pass. Sony does not have to take Game Pass on their platform to make that happen.”
Though Spencer told Decoder he’d be willing to a reach longer-term agreement with PlayStation to easy any objections from regulators, he rejected the idea that Microsoft should enter a legally binding agreement to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation in perpetuity.
“It’s not about at some point I pull the rug underneath PlayStation 7’s legs and it’s, ‘Hahaha, you just didn’t write the contract long enough,’” Spencer said. “There’s no contract that could be written that says forever.”
So there you have it: If you take Spencer at his word, he just promised to bring Call of Duty titles to PlayStation platforms for at least two console generations into the future.
Whether that’s enough for regulators—or with Sony, which has made a fair bit of noise on this subject—remains to be seen.
What we can say for certain is that Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II is out now on PlayStation 5 and PlayStation 4—as well as Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, and Windows PC.