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Sony ‘expects’ Microsoft to keep Activision games multiplatform

The Call of Duty franchise remains the biggest question for the future

Call of Duty: Vanguard’s single-player protagonists Image: Sledgehammer Games/Activision
Nicole Carpenter is a senior reporter specializing in investigative features about labor issues in the game industry, as well as the business and culture of games.

Following Microsoft’s acquisition announcement of Call of Duty publisher Activision Blizzard, Sony responded Thursday to the idea that certain games may eventually become Microsoft exclusives.

“We expect that Microsoft will abide by contractual agreements and continue to ensure Activision games are multiplatform,” a Sony representative told The Wall Street Journal. This is in line with what Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer wrote Tuesday following the announcement: that Activision Blizzard games are played on plenty of different platforms, and Microsoft plans to “continue to support those communities moving forward.”

Sony’s statement Thursday leaves a bit more room for interpretation, bringing in a larger question: What happens to Activision Blizzard games on PlayStation consoles once those “contractual agreements” are up?

A Bloomberg report, citing sources, said Microsoft will keep “some of Activision’s games” on PlayStation consoles, but “some content” will be exclusive to Microsoft and Xbox. “It’s not our intent to pull communities away from that platform and we remained committed to that,” Spencer told Bloomberg.

Microsoft’s approach to other acquisitions are all over the board: While Microsoft plans to make highly-anticipated Starfield and The Elder Scrolls 6 Xbox exclusives, the company has a history of multiplatform support with Mojang’s Minecraft. With this in mind, it’s possible that Microsoft will keep current releases multiplatform, while limiting big new releases with Xbox and PC exclusivity.

What’s for certain, though, is that PlayStation is no longer the exclusive “home of Call of Duty,” as announced by PlayStation CEO Andrew House in 2015.

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