The Xbox boss has been saying almost biweekly that if Microsoft gets the go-ahead to acquire Activision Blizzard, Call of Duty would not immediately disappear from PlayStation platforms.
We don’t know yet whether the nearly $70 billion deal will go through, but we’ve heard from Phil Spencer several times that they will honor the agreement between Sony and Activision Blizzard and that it will go on for several years. It is this IP that has many fearing a consolidation in the games industry (although not named by ex-Dragon Age producer Mark Darrah, who also believes that Microsoft’s move will be damaging in the long run), as Call of Duty has been multiplatform from the start (although the first two episodes were different on console, and the third episode skipped PC).
“I’m open to [making] a contractual commitment to Sony for some number of years that says, ‘Okay, we’re going to continue to ship Call of Duty on PlayStation.’ I’m open to that. No issue at all. It’s not about at some point I pull the rug underneath PlayStation 7’s legs, and it’s ‘Ahaha, you just didn’t write the contract long enough.’ [But] no contract could be written that says ‘forever.’ […] This idea that we would write a contract that says the word forever in it, I think, is a little bit silly, but to make a longer-term commitment that Sony would be comfortable with, regulators would be satisfied with, I have no issue with that at all.
[There will be] native Call of Duty on PlayStation, not linked to them having to carry Game Pass, not streaming. If they want a streaming version of Call of Duty, we could do that, just like we do on our consoles. There’s nothing behind my back. It is Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II, doing great on PlayStation and Xbox. The next game, the next, next, next, next, next [game]. Native on the platform, not having to subscribe to Game Pass. Sony does not have to take Game Pass on their platform to make that happen,” Spencer said on the Decoder podcast.
Of course, words are just words. Actions count…