Sony, Microsoft Sign Binding Agreement To Ensure Call of Duty Remains Available On PlayStation

Sony, Microsoft Sign Binding Agreement To Ensure Call of Duty Remains Available On PlayStation

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PlayStation-maker Sony and rival Xbox-maker Microsoft have entered into a binding agreement that ensures the Call of Duty franchise will remain available on PlayStation consoles following Sony’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard. Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer took to Twitter on Sunday to announce the news, expressing satisfaction with the agreement.

Activision Blizzard, the renowned developer behind the immensely popular Call of Duty series, has faced scrutiny from regulators worldwide regarding Microsoft’s potential dominance in the gaming market if the acquisition were to proceed. Concerns were raised that Microsoft would make Call of Duty games exclusive to its own consoles, thereby undermining competition and marginalising Sony’s PlayStation.

While the exact duration of the agreement remains undisclosed, Microsoft clarified that it is intended to be long-term. The company has previously entered into similar agreements. This arrangement aims to address the anticompetitive concerns expressed by both regulators and Sony’s interactive entertainment division CEO, Jim Ryan, who testified in June that he believed the Activision Blizzard acquisition would have negative implications for competition.

Microsoft vice chair Brad Smith also commented on the matter via Twitter, assuring that even after the potential acquisition is finalised, Microsoft’s focus will be on ensuring the widespread availability of Call of Duty across multiple platforms, reaching a larger consumer base than ever before.

Although the acquisition has yet to be finalised, Microsoft and Activision’s prospects have improved since a federal appeals judge intervened and prevented the Federal Trade Commission from temporarily blocking the deal. The FTC had filed a lawsuit in July, seeking to halt the acquisition, but failed to convince the judge of the potential significant anticompetitive risks associated with the deal.

The European Union regulators had already approved the deal in May, while the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority, known for its rigorous scrutiny of tech deals, expressed its readiness to engage in negotiations with Microsoft regarding the deal’s terms.

Both companies are now aiming to conclude the transaction by Tuesday (July 18).



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