Call of Duty: Game will continue to release on PlayStation if Xbox acquisition goes ahead

By | 09/09/2022

Call of Duty will join Xbox Game Pass, but withal launch on PlayStation aforementioned twenty-four hours

Xbox dominate details Activision merger plans, as United kingdom ready to scrutinise bargain.

Xbox boss Phil Spencer has issued a new weblog mail service detailing plans for Call of Duty and other Activision Blizzard franchises, following today’s announcement from the UK’s Competition and Markets Dominance that it volition scrutinise the bargain in detail.

As y’all would await, Phone call of Duty, Overwatch and Diablo will be made available via Xbox Game Pass, Spencer said, if and when Microsoft’s $68bn buyout of Activision Blizzard is completed.

Spencer likewise fabricated the guarantee that Xbox was “committed to making the same version of Phone call of Duty bachelor on PlayStation on the same day the game launches elsewhere”.

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“We will continue to enable people to play with each other across platforms and beyond devices,” Spencer continued – the suggestion being to expect Call of Duty crossplay without suspension.

Of course, the timing of this blog post has been designed to coincide with this morning’s ruling by the CMA that it will now refer the Microsoft-Activision deal for a more detailed investigation, which cited concerns around some of the very issues Spencer discusses hither.

Spencer’s web log makes numerous mentions of “option” – for example the choice to play Call of Duty via Game Laissez passer, or alternatively on PlayStation – likely to combat any suggestion it was actively hampering contest.

This morning, the CMA wrote that Activision games – and “specially Telephone call of Duty” were “important and capable of making a fabric difference to the success of rivals’ gaming platforms”, singling out PlayStation in item.

The CMA stated concerns over Phone call of Duty’s continued availability on PlayStation, and that, postal service-merger, Xbox could potentially use its buying of the franchise to “harm the competitiveness of its rivals” past offer information technology via its subscription.

Spencer’s blog does not mention the United kingdom of great britain and northern ireland’due south CMA by name, but offers a clear response – on top of Microsoft’due south own – to today’s news in a mention of its ongoing piece of work with regulators.

“We will continue to engage with regulators with a spirit of transparency and openness as they review this acquisition,” Spencer wrote. “Nosotros respect and welcome the hard questions that are existence asked.”

Spencer also makes a cheeky note that Microsoft is not the but visitor currently involved in mergers and acquisitions – by far.

“The gaming industry today is robust and dynamic. Industry leaders, including Tencent and Sony, continue to expand their deep and all-encompassing libraries of games as well as other entertainment brands and franchises, which are enjoyed by players everywhere.

“We believe that a thorough review will show that the combination of Microsoft and Activision Blizzard will benefit the industry and players,” Spencer concluded.

In carve up statements, Microsoft president Brad Smith said the visitor was “ready to piece of work with the CMA on next steps and accost any of its concerns”.

“Sony, as the industry leader, says it is worried about Call of Duty, just we’ve said we are committed to making the aforementioned game available on the aforementioned solar day on both Xbox and PlayStation,” Smith connected. “Nosotros want people to take more access to games, not less.”

Activision Blizzard boss Bobby Kotick meanwhile stated he “still believe[s] the deal is most likely to close” before June 2023.

“This seems an aggressive take on antitrust protection from the CMA, specially in respect of suggesting the separating out of subscription and deject services into their own markets,” video games manufacture lawyer Richard Hoeg told Eurogamer today. “That said, given the current political environment on both digital market access and ‘big tech’ generally, information technology is non one that Microsoft is likely to have failed to anticipate.

“While a complexity, I don’t expect it to scuttle the deal, and the UK concessions volition likely be organised to mirror settlement/consent decree negotiations that probable are or will be otherwise in the works with the other major regulatory government. I still see a deal closing old adjacent year.”