Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Jim Ryan kicked, shouted and called one form of the deal inadequate, but it has now been signed. Microsoft and Sony have reached an agreement on the Call of Duty franchise, confirming that the popular shooter series will continue to be on PlayStation.
Sony and Microsoft Call of Duty deal spans a decade
Xbox CEO Phil Spencer tweeted the deal, explaining that the two entities have signed a “binding agreement” to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation after the Activision acquisition, which is getting closer to completion every day. who passed. Spencer didn’t say if it was the same 10-year deal that Nintendo and other cloud services have signed. Sony, however, confirmed to Axios that the agreement was in effect for 10 years.
Microsoft President Brad Smith also commented on the deal, saying Microsoft has been committed from day one to addressing the concerns of “regulators, platform and game developers, and consumers.” He also noted that Microsoft “will remain focused on ensuring Call of Duty remains available on more platforms and to more consumers than ever before.”
It comes after a long public and private feud between Sony and Microsoft. Sony had said it feared that Microsoft was deliberately tarnishing the PlayStation version of Call of Duty. Ryan, as noted earlier, also called one of the earlier versions of the deal that wasn’t as specific “inadequate on many levels.”
This was right after he had an email exchange with Spencer, as revealed in the emails shown during the trial, after Spencer sent Ryan a list of games that would continue to appear on PlayStation. Ryan said it was “not a meaningful list” as it listed a “particular selection of older titles”. That Call of Duty deal was later extended to 10 years, but Sony didn’t bite. He even said in a previous hearing that he didn’t want a new deal with Call of Duty, but just wanted to sink the acquisition.
But one of Ryan’s private emails that came out during the recent trial went somewhat against what he had said publicly, as he said he was “pretty sure we’ll continue to see Call of Duty on PlayStation for many years to come”. Spencer also testified under oath during the trial that Call of Duty would continue to appear on PlayStation, which he had previously said when not under oath.
“I would raise my hand,” Spencer said. “I’ll do whatever it takes. We don’t have a plan. I’m committing here not to pull Call of Duty – that’s my testimony – from PlayStation. Sony obviously has to allow us to ship the game to its platform. But absent all of that, my commitment is, and my testimony is that we will continue to ship future versions of Call of Duty on the Sony PlayStation 5.
The specificity of saying “PlayStation 5” might have been a mistake and not a draw where future Call of Duty titles don’t come to PlayStation 6, as Spencer’s last tweet about the deal usually says “PlayStation”.
It seems highly likely that the Activision acquisition will materialize, as a US judge ruled in Microsoft’s favor against the Federal Trade Commission, which may have prompted Sony to finally fold and strike a deal around Call of Duty. However, he still has to deal with the Competition and Markets Authority and its concerns about cloud gaming. Complications could delay the deal or change it in some regions.