Microsoft and Sony sign new Call of Duty deal

As Microsoft's planned acquisition of Activision Blizzard heads to completion, Sony has agreed to new terms for Call of Duty.
sony microsoft activision blizzard call of duty

Sony has officially signed a new deal with Microsoft to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation – and while the exact terms remain confidential, it’s the clearest sign that Microsoft’s planned acquisition of Activision Blizzard is finally ready for completion.

Microsoft offered Sony a 10-year deal to keep the popular franchise on PlayStation way back in December 2022, citing a need to keep the franchise financially viable.

‘The main supposed potential anticompetitive risk Sony raises is that Microsoft would stop making Call of Duty available on the PlayStation. But that would be economically irrational,’ Brad Smith, president of Microsoft said at the time. ‘A vital part of Activision Blizzard’s Call of Duty revenue comes from PlayStation game sales. Given the popularity of cross-play, it would also be disastrous to the Call of Duty franchise and Xbox itself, alienating millions of gamers.’

Sony has now officially agreed to Microsoft’s deal, with this decision following in the wake of the US Federal Trade Commission’s failure to block the acquisition of Activision Blizzard. While the FTC had filed an injunction against Microsoft, claiming the planned deal would be anti-competitive, a US District Court judge quashed these allegations in mid-July 2023.

Read: Microsoft wins FTC court battle over Activision Blizzard

Later, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals denied the FTC’s request for an injunction to prevent the closure of the deal. While Microsoft still faces hurdles to push the deal past the UK Competition and Markets Authority, discussions to overcome these concerns are now underway.

Once this blockage has been cleared, it’s expected Microsoft will officially acquire Activision Blizzard and its major franchises – including Call of Duty. With agreements to keep the franchise on PlayStation and Nintendo consoles now signed, Microsoft and Activision Blizzard can begin working on the future of Call of Duty.

‘We are pleased to announce that Microsoft and PlayStation have signed a binding agreement to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation following the acquisition of Activision Blizzard,’ Phil Spencer, Microsoft Head of Gaming confirmed on Twitter. ‘We look forward to a future where players globally have more choice to play their favourite games.’

‘From Day One of this acquisition, we’ve been committed to addressing the concerns of regulators, platform and game developers, and consumers,’ Brad Smith added. ‘Even after we cross the finish line for this deal’s approval, we will remain focused on ensuring that Call of Duty remains available on more platforms and for more consumers than ever before.’

We’re likely to hear more about the finalisation of the Microsoft acquisition of Activision Blizzard in the coming days.

Leah J. Williams is a gaming and entertainment journalist who's spent years writing about the games industry, her love for The Sims 2 on Nintendo DS and every piece of weird history she knows. You can find her tweeting @legenette most days.