Call of Duty Battle Over After Sony Deal with Microsoft

Call of Duty Battle Over After Sony Deal with Microsoft

Call of Duty fans can breathe a sigh of relief as Sony and Microsoft have agreed to a 10-year deal that will keep the popular shooter franchise on PlayStation, ending a long-running dispute over its future.

The deal comes after a US judge rejected the FTC’s attempt to block Microsoft’s $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard, the publisher of Call of Duty and other hit games.

Here’s what you need to know about this historic agreement and what it means for gamers.

Why was there a battle over Call of Duty?

Call of Duty is one of the most successful and profitable video game franchises in history, generating billions of dollars in revenue and attracting millions of players across different platforms.

However, when Microsoft announced its intention to buy Activision Blizzard in January 2022, it sparked a fierce competition battle with Sony, which owns the rival PlayStation console.

Sony feared that Microsoft would either pull Call of Duty from PlayStation or offer a degraded version of the game to lure gamers to its own Xbox and PC platforms.

Sony also argued that Microsoft’s takeover of Activision Blizzard would reduce competition and innovation in the gaming industry, and harm consumers and developers.

The FTC, the US regulator that oversees antitrust issues, agreed with Sony and filed a lawsuit to stop the merger, claiming that it would create a dominant player in the video game market and harm competition.


How did the deal happen?

Microsoft defended its acquisition of Activision Blizzard, saying that it would benefit gamers by offering more choice, quality and value.

Microsoft also promised to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation and other platforms, and offered Sony a binding agreement to ensure that.

However, Sony initially rejected Microsoft’s offer, saying that it was inadequate and that it did not trust Microsoft’s promises.

The dispute escalated to the courts, where both sides presented their arguments and evidence.

In July 2023, a US judge ruled in favor of Microsoft, saying that the FTC had not shown that the merger would harm competition or consumers.

The judge also said that the FTC had not proven that Microsoft would pull Call of Duty from PlayStation or degrade its quality.

The FTC appealed the decision, but was denied by a higher court.

Meanwhile, Microsoft secured approval from the European Union for its acquisition of Activision Blizzard, while facing an ongoing challenge from the UK regulator.

With time running out before the deal was set to close, Sony finally agreed to sign a 10-year deal with Microsoft over Call of Duty, ending the battle over its future.


What does the deal mean for gamers?

The deal means that Call of Duty will remain on PlayStation for at least 10 years after Microsoft’s purchase of Activision Blizzard is complete.

This means that PlayStation gamers will be able to enjoy the latest Call of Duty games on their consoles without any disruption or disadvantage.

The deal also ensures that Call of Duty on PlayStation will match Xbox and PC platforms in terms of release date, content, features, upgrades, quality and playability.

Microsoft’s Phil Spencer said that the deal would give gamers more choice and flexibility in how they play Call of Duty.

He also said that Microsoft would continue to support and invest in Activision Blizzard’s games and studios.

Sony’s Jim Ryan said that he was pleased with the outcome and that he looked forward to working with Microsoft to deliver great gaming experiences to PlayStation fans.



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