Despite recently buying Activision Blizzard, Microsoft will allow the Call of Duty developer to release its games for its rivals.
After Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard, gamers became understandably worried that the studio’s future games will be Xbox exclusive. However, Microsoft has promised that the beloved Call of Duty franchise will still release on PlayStation consoles.
Microsoft’s Call of Duty Promise to PlayStation Gamers
The company made its announcement on Microsoft On the Issues. In a post titled “adapting ahead of regulation: a principled approach to app stores,” the company lays out its plans as to how it will sell its products in the future.
The post is a long read, and there’s a lot going on in it. However, buried within it is the following tidbit:
First, some commentators have asked whether we will continue to make popular content like Activision’s Call of Duty available on competing platforms like Sony’s PlayStation. The obvious concern is that Microsoft could make this title available exclusively on the Xbox console, undermining opportunities for Sony PlayStation users.
Fortunately, Microsoft clears up the fears by announcing that it will respect the current agreement between Activision Blizzard and Sony. This means that future Call of Duty games will continue to release on PlayStation consoles.
Microsoft also uses the time to mention that it’s willing to let Activision Blizzard “support Nintendo’s successful platform” too. As such, gamers have nothing to worry about for the future of Activision Blizzard’s games and the platforms they appear on.
A Smart Move by Microsoft
Microsoft’s move to honor Activision Blizzard’s previous agreements with rival companies is a good one. By doing so, the company prevents potential issues from two sources: gamers and regulators.
For the former, taking Activision Blizzard’s games away from Sony and Nintendo’s consoles will paint Microsoft in a negative light. Gamers will see the acquisition as less of a beneficial development and more of a move to strong-arm people into buying Xbox consoles.
For the latter, Microsoft has a major battle ahead of it to convince regulators that the purchase of Activision Blizzard doesn’t violate antitrust countermeasures. If Microsoft decided to stop Activision Blizzard from developing games for its rivals, the regulators may declare that the deal isn’t fair for the market and stop the deal.
As such, while Microsoft would likely love to keep Activision Blizzard all for itself, doing so would only harm it in the long run. By publicly announcing its plans to share the studio, it has helped established itself as the good guy in this story.
Good News for Gamers
After the purchase of Activision Blizzard, gamers have been worried about Microsoft’s exclusivity plans. Fortunately, it seems all is well for now, as games such as Call of Duty will still release on other consoles.
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