Update #2: Xbox bigwig Phil Spencer has made the following statement to Bloomberg: “I’ll just say to players out there who are playing Activision Blizzard games on Sony’s platform: it’s not our intent to pull communities away from that platform and we remained committed to that.” Make of that what you will.
Update #1: Bloomberg reports that Microsoft “plans to keep making some of Activision’s games for PlayStation consoles but will also keep some content exclusive to Xbox”. Clearly it’s a complicated situation, but this likely means that service games, like Call of Duty: Warzone, will be safe for the time being. Others, beyond this year’s Call of Duty for example, may very well be off the table.
Original Story: Here we go again, then, it’s time to restart the same song-and-dance we played for many months prior to Microsoft’s acquisition of Bethesda closing. Will franchises like Call of Duty continue to release on the PlayStation 5 and PS4? At the time of writing, there’s no official confirmation either way, and we’d expect the language to remain wishy-washy until the deal closes.
Here’s what Microsoft is saying at this point in time: “Upon close, we will offer as many Activision Blizzard games as we can within Xbox Game Pass and PC Game Pass, both new titles and games from Activision Blizzard’s incredible catalogue.” As expected, but nothing about exclusivity. The company does mention that the publisher will continue to operate independently for the time being, and the publisher made the following statement: “Activision Blizzard games are enjoyed on a variety of platforms and we plan to continue to support those communities moving forward.”
That means there’ll likely be no change to Activision Blizzard’s output in the short-term: presumably this year’s Call of Duty, as well as any upcoming games, will still release on the PlayStation 5 and PS4. Contracts will have to be honoured, so it’s possible PlayStation may even end up the primary marketing partner yet again on Call of Duty, which is likely to be Modern Warfare 2. Awkward.
Fast-forward a few years, though, and it’s safe to expect all future Activision Blizzard titles will be exclusive to Xbox Series X|S and PC, as is the case with Bethesda games, like Starfield. It’s entirely possible it’ll pledge continued support to releases like Call of Duty: Warzone, as it’s done with The Elder Scrolls Online and Fallout 76, but we’ll need to wait for the dust to settle for confirmation.
We’ve contacted Sony for comment and will update if and when we hear word back. Presumably there are a few frantic Zoom meetings taking place right now!