The NY Times reveals details of the agreement offered by Microsoft to Sony regarding the custody of Call of Duty: Activision’s war saga will be able to continue appearing on PlayStation for ten years (Spencer adds that “writing ‘forever’ in a contract is a little silly).
Microsoft is meeting a lot of government resistance to its proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard.
In January they announced that they would buy the huge publisher (in itself a conglomerate that includes Call of Duty, Blizzard games like Warcraft or Overwatch and King’s mobile games) for $69 billion.
The expectation is that the deal closes in 2023, due to its complexity. But first it will have to receive the go-ahead from the competition regulatory agencies in various countries… and settle with Sony the “custody” of Call of Duty.
An article from New York Times today released more information about the deal, including specific details of the deal that Microsoft has offered to Sony regarding Call of Duty.
ANALYSIS of CALL OF DUTY MODERN WARFARE II, the return to the good path
Microsoft offered Sony to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation for 10 years
Sony has strongly opposed this purchase, as this could mean that Call of Duty would become exclusive to Xbox consoles and the Game Pass ecosystem, something that would have devastating effects on Sony accounts.
In an interview in SeptemberJim Ryan, CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment, said that Microsoft would only have offered them a three-year contract extension, which would mean that, past the current agreements signed, Call of Duty could only come out for three more years. Around 2026 or 2027, Call of Duty would stop coming out on PlayStation.
Phil Spencer, CEO of Microsoft Gaming, never said what that agreement ended with, but he has recently insisted that Call of Duty will continue to be cross-platform, similar to what happens with Minecraft.
The deal that Microsoft presented to Sony in November:
In the NY Times article, Microsoft is now talking about a new offer they made to Sony in the past November 11th: that Call of Duty is out on PlayStation for 10 years.
“Microsoft said that on Nov. 11 it offered Sony a 10-year deal to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation. Sony declined to comment on the offer“, they explain in the NY Times.
10 years is more than 3, but less than “forever”, although perhaps we shouldn’t look too much at that, because this figure could be a mere formality.
Last week, on the Decoder podcast of The VergeSpencer said that “the idea of we would write a contract with the word ‘forever’ in it is kind of sillybut I have no problem committing to a longer deal that puts Sony and regulators at ease.“.
It seems evident that Spencer was referring to that recent 10-year contract, something confidential, despite the fact that it has now been revealed by the NY Times.
On that occasion, he also made it clear that “there are no strange movements below“, nor is there any conspiracy: they want Call of Duty to continue coming out on PlayStation forever, without cheating or cardboard.
These are the best tablets for watching movies and series
If you usually watch series when you travel or in various parts of the house, these tablets can be good companions for entertainment consumption.
16 countries are investigating the Activision Blizzard and Microsoft agreement
Despite Microsoft’s intention to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation, they are quite upset with Sony’s attitude, which they accuse of have misled the regulators by making them understand that Call of Duty has a greater weight than the real one in consumer decisions.
Although Microsoft has not commented on this aspect, a clear example of this manipulation to which Microsoft alludes would be an employee of the European Commission, who said on Twitter that “they are working to ensure that you can continue playing Call of Duty on other consoles ( including me PlayStation)”.
This body of the European Union is looking closely at the deal, and is one of 16 government bodies looking at the deal (and on whose approval Microsoft depends).
At the moment, only two of these 16 have already spoken in favour, Saudi Arabia and Brazil, who said that “it is not their job to protect specific competitors“.
Among those who have not spoken out are the FTC (United States), governed by Lina Khan, known for its relentless opposition to other big telco deals, and which also expressed concerns that Bobby KotickActivision CEO implicated in multiple cases of sexual harassment, exit this agreement with a “golden parachute”.