Call of Duty’s Days on PlayStation Could Be Numbered
Future Call of Duty instalments might no longer release on PlayStation consoles if Sony fails to reach a new agreement with Microsoft, which is in the middle of acquiring the popular franchise's publisher Activision Blizzard.
Sony gaming chief Jim Ryan called Microsoft's offer to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation for a limited time "inadequate on many levels" in a statement to Gameindustry.biz, as it supposedly undermines the impact of the company's gamers.
"Microsoft has only offered for Call of Duty to remain on PlayStation for three years after the current agreement between Activision and Sony ends," explained Ryan. "We want to guarantee PlayStation gamers continue to have the highest quality Call of Duty experience, and Microsoft’s proposal undermines this principle."
The statement came in response to Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer's recent revelation that the plan is to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation for "several more years", which, as Ryan reveals, is actually three years. This means the blockbuster franchise could continue to release games on PlayStation until 2027, with Sony's existing deal with Microsoft lasting two more years, plus the additional three years.
Activision typically releases one Call of Duty game each year. So if this pattern doesn't change, PlayStation owners can expect five more instalments to hit the console before it most likely becomes exclusive to Microsoft.
“I hadn’t intended to comment on what I understood to be a private business discussion, but I feel the need to set the record straight because Phil Spencer brought this into the public forum,” added Ryan.
The Verge reports that Microsoft and Sony's lawyers are already embroiled in legal disputes over the importance of the Call of Duty. Sony is arguing that the franchise can be classified in a category of its own, which essentially means the gaming experience it sells to players cannot be replicated by other developers. This argument could perhaps make it more difficult for Microsoft to complete its acquisition of Activision Blizzard, with some regulators already reviewing the deal over competition concerns.
For now, however, PlayStation fans can rest easy that this year's new Call of Duty instalment, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, will release on both the PS4 and the PS5 on 28 October.
Sony gaming chief Jim Ryan in a statement called Microsoft's offer to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation for a limited time "inadequate on many levels" as it supposedly undermines the impact of the company's gamers.
Microsoft is in the middle of a deal to acquire Activision Blizzard, the publisher of the hit franchise, giving it an option to make it exclusive to its own consoles.
Call of Duty could continue to release on PlayStation until 2027, with Sony's existing deal with Microsoft lasting two more years, plus an additional three years.