Microsoft has outwardly talked about keeping Call of Duty on PlayStation following the completion of their acquisition of Activision Blizzard, however, it seems that has a term limit. PlayStation's boss Jim Ryan revealed that the deal offered by the Xbox creator was simply "inadequate."
One of the major fears from fans on PlayStation regarding the acquisition of Activision Blizzard by Microsoft was the chance that the Xbox giant could make Call of Duty exclusive to Microsoft's platforms. Phil Spencer spoke earlier this month about the fact that the franchise would still be available on their rival PlayStation platform, but it seems that offer has a term limit.
According to PlayStation boss Jim Ryan, Microsoft offered a deal that would see Call of Duty remain on the platform with feature and release parity for three years, where afterwards its future on Sony's console was up in the air. Ryan, for his part, called the deal in a statement to GamesIndustry.biz "inadequate on many levels."
"Microsoft has only offered for Call of Duty to remain on PlayStation for three years after the current agreement between Activision and Sony ends. After almost 20 years of Call of Duty on PlayStation, their proposal was inadequate on many levels and failed to take account of the impact on our gamers. We want to guarantee PlayStation gamers continue to have the highest quality Call of Duty experience, and Microsoft’s proposal undermines this principle."
This was in response to statements made in a report by The Verge with Phil Spencer, the head of Xbox, committing to supporting CoD on PlayStation consoles for "several more years." This is after Spencer stated in February that the Xbox giant was committed to hosting Call of Duty on PlayStation for beyond the existing marketing agreement in place with the company and Activision Blizzard.
This concern was front and center last week during a regulatory snag the $68 billion deal faced in the UK last week, as PlayStation argued that Call of Duty was such a needle-moving franchise that they were concerned that Microsoft could use it to harm its rivals in the years to come.
At some point the question has to be answered whether Xbox will move to make one of gaming's most lucrative and giant franchises exclusive to their platforms. These same questions swirled around Bethesda's Fallout, Elder Scrolls and its newest IP, Starfield after the acquisition of ZeniMax last year. While Microsoft would never confirm ahead of the agreement being finalized, afterwards we learned that some franchises would be Xbox exclusives. Starfield, Bethesda's first IP in decades, would be exclusive to Xbox and PC.