Microsoft and Sony Sign Agreement to Keep ‘Call of Duty’ on PlayStation After $69B Merger

Microsoft has reached an agreement with Sony to ensure that “Call of Duty” will remain available on PlayStation after Microsoft’s $69 billion merger with Activision Blizzard. The tech giant made the announcement on Sunday. The deal with Sony could potentially address concerns from the company about the merger’s impact on competition. Sony has been vocal about its worries regarding the availability of the popular gaming franchise. Microsoft’s Xbox head, Phil Spencer, expressed satisfaction with the agreement, stating that players globally will have more choices to play their favorite games.

This move by Microsoft is a step towards addressing competition concerns from regulators around the world. In an effort to alleviate regulatory worries, Microsoft had already signed licensing agreements with other companies, such as Nintendo and Nvidia, to ensure that Activision titles wouldn’t be restricted on their platforms and consoles. The deal with Sony is set to last for 10 years, according to Microsoft spokesperson Kari Perez.

The merger between Microsoft and Activision faces a contractual deadline of July 18, but both companies have the option to mutually extend that timeframe. The US government has faced difficulties in proving that the merger will likely result in the removal of “Call of Duty” from Sony PlayStation, or significantly diminish competition in the video game library subscription and cloud gaming markets, as stated by US District Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley in her opinion last week.

Last week, Microsoft also secured victories in two court battles where a federal district court and a US appeals court declined to temporarily block the merger. The Federal Trade Commission had argued that a preliminary injunction was necessary to prevent harm to consumers from the deal, alleging that Microsoft would withhold popular titles from competing consoles and cloud gaming services.

In conclusion, Microsoft’s agreement with Sony to ensure the availability of “Call of Duty” on PlayStation aims to alleviate concerns about competition in the gaming industry. The deal comes after Microsoft faced scrutiny from regulators and criticism from Sony regarding the merger with Activision. With regulatory obstacles being addressed and court victories in its favor, Microsoft is nearing the completion of the merger.