Breaking: Sony and Microsoft Reach “Binding Agreement” to Secure Call of Duty on PlayStation

Sony and Microsoft have reached a binding agreement to keep the popular video game franchise, Call of Duty, on the PlayStation platform. The deal comes in the midst of Microsoft’s proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard, which sparked a bitter battle between the two companies. While the exact terms of the agreement remain undisclosed, it could potentially be a 10-year deal similar to Microsoft’s agreements with Nintendo and other cloud providers.

The feud between Sony and Microsoft began when Sony initially resisted signing a Call of Duty deal with Microsoft, expressing concerns that Microsoft might make the game exclusive to Xbox or sabotage its performance on PlayStation. However, a bombshell email from PlayStation chief, Ryan, read during the FTC v. Microsoft hearing revealed that he actually believed Call of Duty would continue to be available on PlayStation for many years.

The deal between Sony and Microsoft concludes months of discussions and negotiations over the future of Activision content on PlayStation. Tensions escalated when PlayStation chief Ryan spoke with Activision CEO Bobby Kotick, expressing his opposition to the merger and his desire to block it. Meanwhile, Microsoft consistently maintained that it made no financial sense to pull Call of Duty from Sony’s consoles, assuring its presence on PlayStation 5.

The focus now shifts to the regulatory situation in the UK, where Microsoft’s proposed acquisition was blocked earlier this year. Microsoft is participating in a case management conference with the UK’s Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) to discuss the potential modification of the transaction in response to the Competition and Markets Authority’s (CMA) concerns regarding cloud gaming. The CMA has warned that Microsoft’s proposals may lead to a new merger investigation.

While Microsoft hopes to close the Activision deal by its July 18 deadline, a small delay might be necessary to address the UK situation. The CMA recently extended the investigation’s final order date from July 18 to August 29. Both Microsoft and the CMA have agreed to pause their legal battles temporarily to engage in further discussions.

The agreement between Sony and Microsoft to retain Call of Duty on PlayStation provides some clarity amid the ongoing regulatory scrutiny surrounding Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision. Players can expect to continue experiencing the iconic game franchise on the PlayStation platform, while the industry awaits the resolution of the UK’s concerns.