A statement made by Phil Spencer, CEO of Microsoft Gaming, confirms that the software giant will keep supporting the Call of Duty video game franchise published by Activision on Sony’s PlayStation platform.
Speaking about the current and upcoming news related to gaming and Xbox, Spencer revealed the following in an interview with the Same Brain team on YouTube:
We're not taking Call of Duty from PlayStation. That's not our intent. Our intent is not to do that and as long as there's a PlayStation out there to ship to, our intent is that we'll continue to ship Call of Duty on PlayStation. Similar to what we've done with Minecraft since we owned that.
The statement marks an important change in Microsoft’s approach, owing to its history of making games from previously acquired publishers Xbox exclusive even if those publishers had designed their content to be compatible with all consoles. The acquisition of ZeniMax Media, the parent company of Bethesda games is a case in point.
Also, some time ago, the UK's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) expressed apprehensions about the deal. The watchdog suspected it to be anti-competitive in nature and feared Microsoft would restrict access to popular multi-platform franchises in favor of its own platform, or only allow it on other platforms at very unfavorable terms.
For now, all those speculations have been put to rest, and the signals indicate that Call of Duty will continue to ship on PlayStation for the forseeable future. The two gaming industry giants were earlier involved in a tussle where Microsoft had accused Sony of opposing the Activision Blizzard deal. Microsoft continues to remain optimistic about the deal proceeding in the intended direction for approval by the end of its fiscal year in June 2023.